Although school districts are starting to get back to normal, many, if not most, have used up the snow days that were built into their academic calendars. That means they will have to convert school holidays or in-service days into classroom days to meet the state-mandated 180 class days by June 30th. If they are unable to meet the deadline, districts can apply for a waiver from the state.
Michael Race, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, says typically school districts have calendars that end in mid-June "so there is a little bit of a buffer toward the end of June to add days to the calendar."
Race says most districts have contingency plans "but when you get into a large number of snow days, it becomes an issue of fitting in the 180 days. But the 180 day rule remains in effect regardless of the weather conditions we may have."
Race says waivers are not granted for the weather itself, but rather extenuating circumstances caused by the weather such as power outages at schools or the loss of heat which makes it "impossible or extremely inconvenient" to keep schools open