State education chief to school officials: cut vacations to makeup snow days

Superintendents hoping to get some relief from the 180 school days requirement following back-to-back storms that shut down their schools for days at a time have been told by the state’s top education leader waivers will be hard to come by.

“Districts are expected, as in years past, to make all efforts at the local level to meet the mandated minimum number of school days,” Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor wrote superintendents across the state last week.

While several districts have already moved to open schools on previously scheduled holidays and vacation days to make sure they meet the state requirement, a spokesman for the state department said several districts have begun inquiring if waivers would be made available.

Pryor makes clear relieving districts from that requirement will be the last resort.

“It is our hope we will not have to go down this road as we are ever mindful of the negative impact of lost time upon our students,” he wrote.