School Districts Scramble to Make Up for Snow Days

Snow days for some school districts have stacked up into the double digits

As the snowiest winter in years drags on, many school districts around the D.C. area are scrambling to make up instructional time.

Closures for some school systems have stacked up into the double digits, with Fauquier County leading the pack at 16 missed days. With only five snow days allocated in their calendar, officials have turned two half days into full days; they will also shave one day off Spring Break and add 10 minutes to the elementary school day.

Also in Virginia: Alexandria Public School students have had nine snow days, six more than allocated. Officials there will add minutes to existing school days, although a spokesperson said Wednesday that they're still determining by how much school days will lengthen.

With 10 snow days on the books, Fairfax County public school students have already given up their Presidents Day holiday, and they'll also now attend school April 7 and will finish their year June 24 instead of June 20.

In Arlington, students have had eight snow days, which means they'll also have one extra day of school March 31 -- and nine early-release days will be turned into full days.

And Prince William County Schools stirred up controversy earlier this winter after cutting elementary school students' recess from 15 minutes down to 10. School officials said they knew the move would not be popular, but said it was a better option than extending the year or lengthening school days.

Two Northern Virginia school districts won't see any change to their calendars -- as long as we've seen the last of winter. Falls Church had budgeted for eight snow days and they've had exactly that number. And in Loudoun County, a school spokesperson said Wednesday that their school days have enough instructional time, according to Virginia law, to cover their 13 missed days.

In Maryland: School districts are required to be in session 180 days of the year, but many are planning to apply for waivers from the state.

Montgomery County used their last allocated snow day back in January; now officials are facing a five-day deficit. A school spokesperson said Wednesday the current plan is to move the last day of school from June 12 to June 19.

Charles County held school on Presidents Day and will likely remove four days from their spring break. Frederick County will also cut spring break, albeit by only two days. They'll also add extra two school days and possibly more.

With seven missed days, Prince George's County has moved its last day of school back to June 16, but will apply for the state waiver.

Anne Arundel and Calvert counties have not yet put a plan in place and are also planning on applying for the state waiver.

In D.C., school officials had budgeted for just one snow day and have had five. Officials are still finalizing plans, but have added two instructional days, June 2 and 20, to the calendar.


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