MCPS sets 2017-2018 school calendar to follow Hogan’s mandate, keep spring break
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Montgomery County Public Schools has officially determined its 2017-2018 school calendar, containing the mandatory 180 days while also fitting within Governor Larry Hogan’s time frame.
The calendar was determined at the Board of Education’s meeting on December 13. The school year will begin on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 and end on Thursday, June 14, 2018. Within the calendar there are seven days that can be used as instructional days in case of emergencies.
“Under Governor Hogan’s constraints [for the calendar],” Board of Education President Michael Durso said, “this is about as good as we could do.” The Board of Education was able to comply with state-mandated days off, while also keeping spring break. But, if necessary, the first two days of spring break will be used to make up missed days of school.
One of the two Jewish holidays falls on a weekend during the proposed calendar, while the newly added Muslim holiday falls before the start of the school year, allowing the Board more flexibility in scheduling the calendar. These holidays will pose a challenge to the board in future years.
“It’s okay as long as they don’t take all of [spring break],” freshman Mariam Bukhari said. “If our summer vacation is still the same, no one’s going to notice.” Though the 2017-2018 calendar includes a full spring break there is a possibility that in future years spring break may be reduced. “I don’t think that will work with kids, kids need a break,” Bukhari added.
Although the Board was able to comply with both the State and Hogan’s mandate, according to montgomeryschoolsmd.org, it is “important to note that there are several considerations in future years that will further complicate the calendar structure within the time frame of Governor Hogan’s executive order,” Durso said.
“I personally love it because I love having a longer summer, and I don’t mind having shorter vacations during the year,” English teacher Ellen Stahly said. “We don’t want to to start cutting away at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur… Eid or any other holidays that have been newly recognized.”
Montgomery County “[is probably] going to see how much push back there is and see how many families are upset about [the calendar]…then reevaluate. So this is kind of like a practice year,” Stahly added.