For the 2018-2019 school year, Montgomery County Public Schools were allotted 2 snow days to be used in case of weather-related emergencies.
Both of the allotted days have been used, and a third day was used Jan. 30, pushing the end of the school year back one additional day to June 14. If any more days need to be made up, it is likely these days will be pulled from spring break.
Additionally, spring break is only 4 days long this year, making the impact of losing one more significant than it would have been otherwise.
“Our spring break is already short enough, lowering the days any further would be ridiculous and not to mention unfair for students who have travel plans,” junior Sanaa Smith said.
In August of 2016, Governor Larry Hogan declared the school year must begin after Labor Day and end no later than June 15. With such an inflexible calendar, extra days throughout the year are scarce. Instead of days off for professional days, half days are being used so that no school days are wasted.
“I feel like our professional days should come back because they help so much with our class load and also give teachers the chance to grade and prepare,” senior Raeven James said.
Many students are unhappy with the decisions that MCPS makes regarding delays and snow days because of the severe conditions that impact their ability to travel to and from school.
“Students like me have to walk from the houses over by Rocky Hill [middle school] or even further, across sidewalks and trails that are never cleaned off or clear. MCPS does not seem to care about us who have to walk every day when they make their choices,” one CHS freshman said.
As enjoyable as a snow day can be in the right circumstances, this school year they are proving to be a nuisance to both MCPS officials and students, allowing decision making to be more difficult, and students to be more enraged.
“I do appreciate though that even when there are bad calls made by the MCPS officials regarding the calendar and days off, building services still comes in and clears off sidewalks and walkways during their own time, and I think that should be recognized,” one CHS staff member said.