Posted: April 13th, 2018
In a letter sent April 13, 2018, Interim Superintendent Martirano updated staff, students and families on the current school year calendar:
This has not been a typical year for inclement weather make-up days and we understand that the use of days during Spring Break created some inconvenience for our families. As you know, we have had a total of seven inclement weather closing days, which is two more than were accounted for in the 2017–2018 academic calendar. State law requires school to be in session a minimum of 180 days per year, two days more than could be accommodated by make-up days within the state requirement to end school by June 15.
In March, we requested a waiver from the Maryland State Department of Education for relief of these two days. However, this week, the state passed emergency legislation allowing school districts to extend the school year up to June 22. Under this legislation, HCPSS could extend the school year to June 19 in order to make up the two additional inclement weather days. However, we understand that many families and staff already have made summer plans based on the June 15 school end date. Unlike the make-up days during spring break, no days beyond June 15 were designated as make-up days.
We have reiterated to the State Board of Education our request for a two-day waiver. However, we must be prepared for the possibility that we will be required to extend the school year for students by two additional days, to Monday and Tuesday, June 18 and 19. Should this become necessary, all schools will dismiss three hours early on June 15, 18 and 19 and June 11–14 will be full student days.
Regardless of the State’s decision, I want to assure our families and staff that the final exam schedule will not change: exams will be held June 12–14. No new graded work will be given in elementary or middle schools on June 18 or 19.
Conforming to the original executive order and now following the emergency legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly has not been an easy process, and we acknowledge the challenges it has put on our staff and students. We hope to avoid this for the next school year which is why I have asked staff to review the new legislation, reconvene the calendar committee and present a calendar for the next school year that will not pose these challenges.
We will continue to keep staff, parents and the community informed of any changes to the school calendar and will notify you as soon as a final decision is made for the current school year.