Montgomery County Board of Education Seeking Waiver to Start School Before Labor Day

img_3255The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved a resolution to ask the state of Maryland for a waiver to start school next year before Labor Day.

If the waiver is approved, the 2017-2018 school calendar will begin on Aug. 28 and conclude by June 15.

Back in August, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order that mandated all Maryland public schools start after Labor Day, end by June 15, and include 180 days of instruction.

Governor Hogan’s executive order provided school districts with the option of applying for a waiver to begin classes prior to Labor Day. The Board asked Superintendent Jack Smith to apply to the State Board for a waiver to start classes before Labor Day.

“We’re seeking a waiver primarily because we’re concerned that starting school after Labor Day until June leaves little maneuvering room if something unforeseen happens like snow,” said Board of Education President Michael Durso.

The Board’s Policy Management Committee met in September to review options for the 2017-2018 School-Year-Calendar and recommended three calendar scenarios be presented to the full Board for consideration.

The scenarios were posted on the MCPS website for public information and review. More than 300 parents, staff and community members provided feedback on the calendar options.

The Board’s preferred calendar option is based on 184 instructional days for students. The Board believes this calendar option helps meet the district’s operational, labor relations and instructional objectives.

Board president Michael Durso stated in a phone interview that he understands the financial challenges that some families make with planning summer vacations and making sure that younger children have proper supervision and/or daycare.

The waivers will go to the Maryland State Board of Education for final approval. Their next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25 but it’s unclear if waivers will be approved or denied at this meeting.  A media spokesperson stated over the phone that the agenda has not been finalized.

The calendar was developed in partnership with the Montgomery County Council’s PTAs, the school district’s three employee associations, the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils, along with other community members and school system leadership.


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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


One Response to “Montgomery County Board of Education Seeking Waiver to Start School Before Labor Day”

  1. Avatar
    On October 13, 2016 at 12:23 pm responded with... #

    suuuure…..why not go with what 70% of Marylander and 65% of MoCo residents want and ask for.
    Bah! citizen’s be damned, we’re gonna go our own way, we know what best.

    ugh, and people want to know why there is such a push for term limits? it’s because morons like this BoE and CC just don’t get it.

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