Carroll schools try to recover days lost to snow

March 03, 2003|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

Scrambling to find ways to make up five snow days and concerned that more wintry weather might be on the way, Carroll County officials have asked the state schools superintendent to allow them to shorten the school year and open schools on remaining state holidays.

School board members will not decide until the middle of the month or next month how to make up snow days beyond the four that were built into the school calendar. But they have agreed to ask Maryland Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick for every available option and weigh them later.

The state school board granted Grasmick the authority recently to shorten the academic year by two days and to open schools on state-mandated holidays to help local school systems make up time lost to last month's record-setting snowstorm.

Carroll administrators scheduled four snow days for this school year, a number reduced a few years ago.

More snow was falling last week as school board members discussed how to provide the state-mandated minimum of 180 days of instruction.

Board members could choose from any combination of five options, said Stephen Guthrie, the district's assistant superintendent of administration. Those included adding days to the end of the school year; requesting the state waiver; opening schools Good Friday, Easter Monday and Memorial Day; opening schools on the remaining school system-approved vacation days of March 14 and April 17; and lengthening the school day.

Carroll Superintendent Charles I. Ecker joked that he is planning fireworks displays for students at the county's seven high schools for lunchtime on the Fourth of July.

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