Students attending schools in three counties in Delaware learned that they will not have to make up some of those snow days that they’ve had off due to severe winter weather.
The Delaware State Board of Education and Secretary of Education Mark Murphy agreed to waive up to six school days that were lost this winter. The Board received requests to waive the days from 22 district and charter schools in Sussex, New Castle and Kent counties, approving the days when Governor Jack Markell declared a State of Emergency or closed state offices.
State law requires districts and charter schools to provide a minimum of 1,060 hours of instruction for students in grades K-11 and 1,032 for 12th graders. When schools are closed, for weather or other reasons, they are required to make up the missed hours of instruction. But under a provision in the law, school districts can appeal to the Board to have the number of required hours reduced under certain ‘unusual’ circumstances.
Murphy agreed that this winter’s weather was unusual, but stressed the need for administrators to put plans in place that ensure students receive full instruction hours.
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“Moving forward, I fully expect our district and charter leaders to directly address this challenge of ensuring adequate time for both educators and students. I expect that they will work with their communities, their parents and their teachers to build in the strategies to ensure our students and educators are not robbed of learning time,” Murphy said in a press release.
“I expect that should we happen to have another set of challenging weather next school year, we will not see requests for ‘forgiveness of time.”
Some schools in Delaware missed as many as 10 days of instruction this year due to winter weather.
In New Jersey, officials are considering having students make-up the missed days by having Saturday school.
Some school districts in Pennsylvania have decided to make-up the days by adding as many as four instructional days to the end of the school year or by deducting days from scheduled spring or Easter breaks.