Read the Latest on the 2018–2019 School Calendar
MCPS has begun the process of developing the school calendar for the 2018–2019 year. Since last year, school districts across Maryland have been discussing how best to design their school calendars given new time constraints on the length of the school year. The new rules mandate that school cannot start before Labor Day and must end before June 15.
On Sept. 19, the Board of Education’s Policy Management Committee received an update on the development process and provided feedback on different calendar scenarios. Board of Education Policy IDA, School Year Calendar, calls for the Policy Management Committee to review the draft 2018-2019 School Υear Calendar prior to its presentation to the full Board for adoption.
For more details, as well as to see various examples of how the calendar could be developed, visit the school calendar webpage. Examples shown are not indicative of any recommended, adopted or finalized calendar. The page also includes a dropbox for staff and others to offer feedback on the calendar.
In related news, below is the latest communication from Chief Operating Officer Andrew Zuckerman regarding the 2018–2019 calendar’s development. In case you missed it, this message was emailed to staff on Monday, Oct. 2.
Two weeks ago I sent everyone our first communication about the SY2018-2019 school calendar. I laid out the issues we are dealing with in trying to develop the calendar under the new rules at the State level. To read that e-mail again, please click HERE. We are truly constrained in what we can do with respect to the school calendar, even more so next year than this year, and we are working through these challenges.
I want to thank everyone who has written to me sharing your ideas, questions, and concerns. There have been a number of excellent questions I have received, a couple of which I want to share today.
One teacher wrote to me last week with the following question: “Are the scenarios you sent the only ones the Board of Education is considering for the school calendar?”
Good question. The answer is no, the scenarios presented to the Board’s Policy Management Committee were only examples of ways in which the SY18-19 calendar could be constructed given the constraints posed by the new State rules. They are not the only scenarios available or being considered, but were provided as examples to show the range of possibilities and are not all-inclusive. We know we have only 6 days above the State minimum requirement of 180 student days to schedule additional instructional days, spring break, professional days, and other operational closures. The examples we provided show some of the ways this can be accomplished but certainly not all of them. I very much appreciate the people who have e-mailed me with their ideas and scenarios for how to program these 6 days; we will definitely consider all of them.
Another teacher wrote this question: “I just want to be clear, are we losing in-service days at the start of the school year? That’s how it appeared to me but I could be missing something.”
This is a great question, as the different examples I shared did not show any pre-service days on them. Please know we will definitely have pre-service days next year. We just have not accounted for these pre-service days yet because we will not know how many days to schedule for pre-service until after the Board of Education adopts the student instructional calendar. The number of pre-service days for staff all hinges on the number of student instructional days, and we don’t know the number of student instructional days yet. This year, for example, we have 182 student instructional days, which is two days fewer than in years past. The reduction in student days this year therefore resulted in a longer staff pre-service period than in previous years. It is too early to tell how many days of pre-service we will have for SY18-19. We first need to finalize the student instructional calendar and then go from there.
There were many other great questions and I have tried to respond to everyone who has e-mailed me. If you have additional questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to e-mail them. In addition, please check out the SY18-19 School Calendar web page HERE for additional information.
Meantime, have a great week.
Chief Operating Officer
Montgomery County Public Schools