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With another snow day last Friday, both Harford and Cecil County public school students have missed nine days because of record-breaking snowfalls in the 2009-10 school year.

Harford’s school system plans to seek a state waiver so students don’t have to make up three of the missed days, a school system spokesperson said.

Because of the missed days, students will attend school on March 31 and April 1, and on June 10, 11, 14 and 15 — days the students originally had off before the Blizzards of 2010 struck the county.

Students may also have to go an additional three days in the summer, June 16, 17 and 18, if those days are not waived by State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick.

Cecil County public school students will go to school March 28 and April 1 and June 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 — days the students originally had off before the blizzard.

Cecil County has eight snow days already built into the school calendar, but the school system has exceeded those by one day.

To make up last Friday’s snow day, the Cecil County Board of Education decided Monday to send students to school on April 1.

“The day was originally scheduled to be a professional day for staff, but will now operate as a regular school day,” according to a letter to parents from Superintendent Henry Shaffer.

In his letter, Shaffer wrote that April 1 was selected to avoid extending the school year further into the summer.

“It is critical that student learning remain at the forefront of these decisions. We have a strategy to address the missed professional day and any additional student days that may be missed due to inclement weather, but a final plan will not be available until we have passed the traditional winter weather period,” he wrote. “We anticipate the release of this plan before the end of March.”

Harford Superintendent Robert Tomback closed schools last Friday because of whiteout conditions and extreme winds causing drifts throughout the county. The ninth closure in Harford, exceeded by three the six snow days built into the 2010-11 school calendar.

“We will submit a waiver for any days used beyond the six inclement weather make-up days,” Teri Kranefeld, manager of communications, wrote in an e-mail Monday. “At this point, we are looking at three days.”

Harford will submit a waiver request from the 180-day school year attendance requirement to the Maryland State Board of Education in mid-March when the winter season is over, according to Kranefeld.

Last week, the Maryland State Board of Education decided to limit to five the number of days Maryland schools systems may request to waive.

An inclement weather make-up schedule has been posted on the Harford Schools Web site, www.hcps.org.

Parents and members of the community who signed up for the school system’s Constant Contact e-mail service received an e-mail containing the link to the inclement weather make-up schedule Friday, according to Kranefeld.

“This information will also be provided to schools to drop into their newsletters and to be posted [on] Edline sites,” Kranefeld wrote. “We will continue to update this information as we move forward.”


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