Following student and staff input in relation to which holidays the most students are absent, MCPS is considering two proposals for the 2019-2020 calendar.
Both have 182 days of instruction, which is two days over the 180 state-mandated number of school days, start on Sep. 3, 2019 and end on June 15, 2020. One of the calendars brings back the ten-day spring break, which is a significant change from this school year’s six day break.
“The reinstatement of a 10 day spring break is really great,” junior Ryan Gartman said. “Spring break is a time for students to relax, and it’s hard when it’s only a couple days long.”
The Policy Management Committee (PMC) of MCPS began meeting on June 15 to plan the next year’s calendar, and solicited responses from more than 37,000 students and staff as to which holidays would bring about the most absences throughout the district.
According to district three board member Pat O’Neill, people have been generally supportive of the possible return to a traditional 10 day spring break. However, it has been hard to find days to trim from the calendar to allow for holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Veterans Day to remain as days off from school.
The two proposals both include ending on Monday, June 15. This prompted concerns over student attendance as the last day of school is always a half day. However, with a 10 day spring break, it may be the only option.
The change to a shorter spring break comes amidst Governor Larry Hogan’s executive mandate requiring all Md. schools to start after labor day and end by June 15, forcing MCPS to scramble to cover 180 required days of school along with maintaining state holidays.
“As a senior, I’m not really affected by a shorter spring break, because by then I will already know where I’m going to school, so I can afford to miss some school for vacation,” senior Matthew Koppel said.
The PMC has recommended both scenarios be brought to the Board of Education for consideration, and the Board continues to meet to discuss the two calendar options.