State law requires 180 days in the school year, but that may prove difficult for Providence, which has already taken six snow days.
Without leniency from state officials, the district may have to extend classes into the week that includes the July 4th holiday. That's less than ideal because many families and employees had planned to head out of town by then.
"People make vacation plans around the 4th of July holiday, both families and staff," said Providence Public Schools Spokeswoman Christina O'Reilly. "We want to be sure that if we’re going to hold school, we’re going to hold a worthwhile school day and not just in name only."
O'Reilly said the district felt reluctant to shorten the school year even by one day, but Superintendent Susan Lusi decided it was necessary, due to the logistical problems involved in extending classes beyond June 26th.
Providence is looking at changes to the school calendar to avoid this problem next year, including eliminating some Jewish holidays and shortening or eliminating February break. O'Reilly said school officials plan to send out a survey seeking public input.
The State Board of Education has the power to grant a waiver from from the state mandated school year, though the board has declined to grant such waivers in recent years.