Although some requests will need to be approved before it becomes official, the Worcester County Board of Education is hoping the last day of school will be Friday, June 13.
At today’s Board of Education meeting, after hearing a recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Jerry Wilson, the board voted to make Friday, March 28 a half-day of school, rather than a closed Professional Day for teachers and staff as planned.
“The winter of 2014 has been atypically cold and snowy for Worcester County,” said Wilson. “Road and weather conditions have precipitated the close of schools for a total of nine days to date. Without additional modifications to our calendar, the school year would extend well into the third week of June. Making March 28 a half-day of school for students will help us recoup lost days and shorten the extended school year.”
“Because our school system far exceeds the 1,080-hour requirement for students to attend school over a 180-day period, half-days are able to qualify as full-days,” said Barbara Witherow, school system spokeswoman and facilitator of the calendar development process.
This week’s decision to open schools to students on March 28 comes on the heels of a February decision when the Board moved to cut a day of spring break. April 17 will now be a half-day for students, meaning two of the nine missed days have been recouped. Three inclement weather days are built into the school calendar, leaving four days still that need to be addressed.
At today’s meeting, the board also granted Wilson’s request to allow him to seek a state waiver for three missed days — Jan. 29, March 3 and March 17 — when a snow emergency plan was in effect.
“If the State Superintendent of Schools approves our request to waive three days from the 180-day requirement, our school system will have recouped five of the nine missed days. With three inclement weather days already built onto the end of our calendar, the likely last day of school would be Friday, June 13, but this is not yet official. We have to wait for waiver approval and for a consistent warming trend before making the last day of school official.”