School board weighs options for makeup days due to snow

Classes at end of year, on April break possible

February 16, 2003|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Harford County students who celebrated the announcements of school closing because of snow or ice may find themselves in class when the air conditioners are straining to keep temperatures in check.

Under proposals offered to the county Board of Education at its meeting last week, school might not end until June 19 and students might be in class on days they were originally scheduled to be off.

Harford schools already have used the three snow days built into the schedule and two more, extending classes to June 17.

With at least four weeks of potentially inclement weather ahead, the board is looking at other possible makeup days.

If two more snow days are required, they will be made up on June 18 and June 19, under a proposal by Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas.

Additional closings for snow would force students to attend class on April 4 and April 7. Those dates had been set aside for teacher-training days when schools would be closed for students.

If still another makeup day is needed, Haas proposed that it be April 17, the first day of spring break.

Donald Morrison, a schools spokesman, said the system has received about 200 e-mail responses to the board's suggested makeup days.

"So far, most of the people are saying they don't want the June 17 and 18 days," said Morrison. "They would rather use the April staff development days and the Thursday before Easter."

Robert B. Thomas Jr., a school board member from Joppatowne, is one of those opposed to having class during the third week of June. It will be too hot, he said.

"We will get absolutely nothing accomplished in the nine schools without air conditioning," he said.

Paul S. Schatz, president of the Harford County Education Association, the union representing teachers, pointed out that April 17 is a Passover holiday.

Morrison said the Havre de Grace High School band has scheduled a trip to Disney World in Florida from April 4 through April 7.

He said public reaction to the superintendent's proposed makeup schedule would be passed on to the board and that the board could act on the proposal at Feb. 24.

Morrison said it will be impossible to make everybody happy.

With a month of cold weather yet ahead, he said that everyone is hoping there won't be any more weather-related closings.

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