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MCPS will follow Hogan’s mandate to begin school after Labor Day and end by June 15

Sarah Elbeshbishi

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Montgomery County Public Schools will have a post-Labor Day start for the 2017-2018 school year and end school by June 15 as required by Governor Larry Hogan’s mandate that was released in September.

Though in September the Board of Education’s major concern was how to fit in 180 instructional days, emergency days, breaks and holidays into the governor’s time-frame, the Board decided on Tuesday that MCPS will comply and will not apply for a waiver.

According to mymcmedia.org, “[The] school calendar will include 180 days of instruction but…there are many specific components…that MCPS staff needs to further analyze to determine how best to implement the instructional and operational aspects…in the new calendar.”

“The Board voted on 15-11 to start school next year after Labor Day and end on June 15,” Board of Education President Michael Durso said. “With that action, we will not seek an earlier start by requesting a waiver.” Frederick and Anne Arundel counties have announced that they will also be starting their calendars after Labor Day and end by June 15.  

Frederick county will keep Rosh Hashanah and a full winter break, but will reduce spring break to only four days. Anne Arundel county will not take off for Rosh Hashanah, but will give a full winter break and a five day spring break. Yom Kippur falls on a weekend in 2017, so it does not need to be factored into the calendar.  Both counties will take the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off and include four day weekends in October.

By keeping schools open on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, MCPS could reduce spring break to four days, taking off for Good Friday and Easter Monday, while also allowing room for Jewish and Muslim holidays. However, no firm plans about holidays or breaks have been made as the Board will make their final calendar decisions on December 13.  The Board will “have some decisions to make on spring break, religious holidays, and teacher professional days,” Durso added.

With their final meeting to figure out the final calendar for the upcoming school year, Durso is “hoping that whatever [the Board of Education does], it will have minimal [negative] impact on student education.”

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The student news site of Watkins Mill High School
MCPS will follow Hogan’s mandate to begin school after Labor Day and end by June 15