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BOE Sets MCPS Calendar for Next Year, Trims Spring Break

The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved the Montgomery County Public Schools’ calendar for the 2018-2019 school year, and it has shortened spring break by two days.

The 2018-2019 school calendar was approved during the Board’s Nov. 14, 2017, meeting.

The school year will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, and the last day of school is scheduled for Thursday, June 13, 2019. The calendar includes 182 days of instruction; a shortened spring break; two closure days for planning and professional development; and two operational closures that coincide with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

“The Board has for many years identified an operational need to close on these days due to the anticipated difficulty of continuous school system operations,” according to Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Kelly’s recommendation to the Board for the Calendar.

“This calendar represents the Board’s best thinking in a very difficult situation,” stated Montgomery County Board of Education President Michael A. Durso. “The restriction imposed by the Governor’s Executive Order provided us with few options to develop a calendar that meets the need of our students and our community.”

To comply with Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2016 Executive Order that established a timeframe for the school year to begin no earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day and to end no later than June 15, the traditional MCPS spring break was reduced from four non-instructional days to two. Additionally, the remaining two non-instructional days of spring break will also serve as make-up instructional days, if needed, to address previous emergency closures in the school year.

There are an additional 15 dates that schools are required by state law to close. These include:

- Election Day, November 6, 2018;

- Thanksgiving and the Friday after, November 22‒23, 2018;

- December 24, 2018, through January 1, 2019;

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, January 21, 2019;

- Presidents’ Day, February 18, 2019;

- The Friday before and the Monday after Easter, April 19 and 22, 2019;

- Memorial Day, May 27, 2019.

The two full non-instructional planning/professional development days are scheduled for Jan. 28, the end of the second marking period, and June 5, which coincides with Eid al-Fitr. The calendar also includes early release days in both semesters for grades K-12.

“Development of the school year calendar has been a challenge again this year within the constraints set by the Governor’s mandated instructional timeframe and the other state calendar requirements,” wrote Smith in his recommendation memo to the Board. “At this juncture, we know that it is not practical for the 2018‒2019 School Year Calendar to meet everyone’s interests and requests. However, my proposed calendar is consistent with all state calendar requirements, including those for inclement weather closings, and provides planning and grading time for teachers as well as a moderate spring break.”

Graphics courtesy MCPS.

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