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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

STATE BOARD GRANTS WAIVER AUTHORITY TO STATE SUPERINTENDENT

Dr. Grasmick to Consider Blizzard-related Waivers to 180-Day Requirement On a Case-by-Case Basis

BALTIMORE (February 25, 2003) - Maryland school systems that have run out of snow days due to the recent snowstorms may ask the State Superintendent of Schools for waivers of up to two days from the 180-day school year requirement.

The Maryland State Board of Education granted Dr. Grasmick the waiver authority at its meeting today. Local systems are now able to request one- or two-day waivers from the school calendar regulation, and the State Superintendent will consider each request on a case-by-case basis. Any waiver request beyond a two-day adjustment would still have to be taken before the full State Board.

Dr. Grasmick also received authority from the Board to allow school systems to keep schools open during state-designated public school holidays in order to make up missed class time. The State Board also recognized the extraordinary impact of the inclement weather on Garrett County schools and gave Dr. Grasmick authority to assist that county in dealing with its additional calendar needs.

Maryland schools are required to be open a minimum of 180 days and 1,080 hours per school year at the elementary and middle school levels, and 1,170 hours at the high school level.

Local school systems develop their own school calendars based on those requirements, building in snow days and vacation periods. Local systems also determine when schools should be closed based on weather and other conditions.





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