- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2003

Students and teachers in school districts around the region are likely to be relaxing on spring break this week but many of them will have to buckle down Monday to make up for snow days.
The school districts of the District and Arlington and Fairfax counties have extended their school day by 30 to 45 minutes.
Fairfax County students will have 30 minutes more of class from April 21 to May 16.
Daniel A. Domenech, the county's public school superintendent, said the time will be added to the end of the school day, though some flexibility will be permitted.
Some of the extra time will help teachers prepare students for the Standards of Learning tests that begin May 19, school officials said.
Arlington County administrators will tack 15 minutes onto the beginning and end of each school day to make up for seven of nine snow days.
The extra time begins Monday and runs through the end of the school year and will be equal to five school days. To cover the remaining two days, administrators canceled a day off in March and extended the school year by a day.
Most area students missed about 10 days because of the snow.
Some school districts used built-in time and others applied for waivers from their state school boards for some of the time missed. Most students were spared having to give up their spring break or Memorial Day holiday.
"This plan was fashioned to provide our students with instructional time when they needed it most, rather than merely adding extra days onto the calendar in late June when it would be less helpful for their success," Arlington County schools Superintendent Robert G. Smith said. "We believe we owe this time to our students."
In the District, students will begin their school days 15 minutes early and end them 30 minutes late until May 30. Though the spring break was retained, the students will lose a day off on May 15, which was scheduled for staff development.
Alexandria County school administrators did not want to interfere with after-school activities by extending school days, so they held classes Monday and Tuesday, the first days of the spring break.
Montgomery County students must attend school this Monday, traditionally the Easter Monday holiday, because the state school board denied a request to excuse the snow days. The students also will have to go to school extra days, including two at the end of the school year.

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