- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 7, 2004


Schoolchildren in metropolitan Washington may find themselves regretting a wealth of snow days when the weather turns nicer.

Several school districts already have used more than their allotted number of snow days. Many started right after the school year began when Hurricane Isabel came through in September, and the snow and ice in recent weeks now has them behind schedule.

Montgomery County had its sixth weather-related closing day Friday because of an ice storm. It only planned on four, so two class days and any other required in the coming weeks have now been added in the spring. School will now end on June 17.

In Fairfax County, where Friday marked the fifth weather-related closing this school year, a teacher workday scheduled for April 2 will now be a regular class day, and students will also have to go to school on President’s Day to make up another.

The school system tried that last year only to have a blizzard put the kibosh on that. In 2003, Fairfax County students wound up staying late at school for several weeks. Any more missed days in Fairfax will mean time tacked on to the school year in June.

In Prince William County, schools opened late Friday, but students already have missed eight days because of weather. The county has one more day of wiggle room, but the school board decided this week to hold classes on two teacher workdays.

Elementary school students in Prince William also will have to spend an extra 10 minutes in class beginning Feb. 16 through the end of the school year. Middle and high school students don’t, because they meet state requirements for time spent in class.

Prince George’s County closed schools Friday for the fifth time, putting it over its allotment. School officials said they expect to make a decision within a week on how to make up the time.

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