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.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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