Our View: Additional days are a waste of resources

Thank you Governor Larry Hogan for prioritizing vacations to Ocean City over the wellbeing and education of Maryland students. Thank you for causing plenty of confusion in school schedules by mandating that public schools must start after Labor Day and thus ruining the scheduling norms students had become so accustomed to.

As many of you know, BCPS didn’t grant the county any snow days this year. However, the makeup days planned for the end of the year in case of emergency closures are utterly useless and serve no good other than to waste money that could have easily been spent on sports, the arts, or renovations.

Along with the obvious waste of money comes the giant middle finger given to teachers who have to sit in a room with maybe two students when they should be starting their summer vacations along with everyone else. All we do in June is review for finals, complete busy work, or watch movies. It’s an insult to teachers and students to keep them in school longer than they need to be.

The sudden death of Rep. Elijah Cummings and the subsequent special election that took place on Feb. 4 led to the addition of Monday June 22 to the schedule. It’s understandable that a day should be added to the school year to replace the day lost but to add it to the end of the year is ridiculous.

Emergency closings and other cancellations should be considered prior to the school year beginning. A thorough plan regarding such closures would prevent further confusion and ensure high school students are meeting the required 1,170 hours of schooling per year.

In case of future closings, Easter Monday and June 22 onward can be added to the school year as makeup days. June 22 is a Monday and would lead to students needing to wait another weekend before the school year can end. For those making up exams or seeking perfect attendance, it is a complete and utter waste of time for the last day of school to possibly be on a Monday.

“I think we should have added scheduled snow days into the calendar and that would have required starting before Labor Day,” librarian Suhaila Tenly said.

But of course, we can’t do that because Governor Hogan needs Ocean City to stay profitable through Labor Day.

“I like the idea of starting after Labor Day and not having a spring break because you’re going to need the time to prepare for your AP exams in those last three months anyways,” Gavin Taylorson (’21) said.

The constant schedule changes year after year are very confusing. Having no snow days scheduled this year caught many people off guard as most can’t remember the last time we didn’t have time allotted for snow days.

“Since I’ve had this job—and this is my thirtieth year—they’ve built in snow days into the schedule,” English teacher Michelle Vance said.

There were various ways the county could have ensured the added days went to good use but instead they opted to schedule it on a Monday when no one will attend. All they had to do was account for snow days in the schedule. It may come as a surprise, but it snows every year.