Friday, December 9, 2016

One More Calendar Blog

Starting School After Labor Day 2017

At its December 8 meeting the Calvert County Board of Education agreed to send out a revised school calendar for review and public input.   Although a calendar for 2017-18 school year had already been approved last spring, the Executive Order from Governor Hogan requiring that school begin for students no earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day required us to reconvene the calendar committee.

This calendar will draw a lot of comments I am sure.  You can see it here:

Our previously approved calendar had five days for students prior to Labor Day weekend so we are tasked with scheduling 5 more days for students after Labor Day.  Our previously approved calendar also ended on June 7.  Though it would appear we could easily add those 5 days to the end of the year to be in compliance, I directed the committee not to do that.   More days in June have little instructional value and no potential for improving student performance results – graduation is over, AP exams are over and PARCC test is over.  We need to get those days in before May.

The recommended calendar has an impact on some traditional non-student days that will no doubt raise eyebrows.

1st - Youth Day for the County Fair, traditionally a day off for students, is proposed to be a day of school for students with a 2 hour early dismissal.

2nd – What had been previously 6 days off for spring break has now been cut to 3 days  - Thursday, Friday and Monday around Easter weekend. 

If you look at our options, there aren’t many.  The recommended calendar still proposes no school for students on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  We have heard from some who want to keep Youth Day that we should have school on that day in November instead. 

For those who want a full week for spring break, it would appear that extending school into June would be our only option if we were to make that happen.

The board is accepting comments on this proposed calendar for the next few weeks and will be asked to approve this or modifications to it on January 12.  Every comment is considered.   Send your calendar comments via email to Karen Maxey


  1. I know many families that take short vacations throughout the school year that corresponded with the CCPS traditional breaks. I am concerned that the last minute schedule change would lead to increased absenteeism and for many parents, it is hard to take multiple weeks off during the summer, especially since majority of the coworkers are looking to take vacations during he same time.

    Are there been any studies that have looked at year round schooling affect on absenteeism? I would think parents would choose to take vacations during one of the many 1-3 week breaks that happen with year round schooling. Also, having the breaks during multiple times of the year should lead to increased learning enrichment from being able to take vacations during the different seasons. For example families would be able to visit Yellowstone National Park during the traditional summer break and then again during the winter months to see how the weather affects the environment. Since we don't experience the harsher winter weather with sustained multiple feet of snow, many students would not be able to learn how it affects.

    The non traditional breaks would also allow families to save money due to taking vacations during non-peak times. For example, the price of a cruises is 2 to 3 times more expensive during the summer months then September, October, April and May.

    Does the governor's new executive order allow for year round schooling exemptions? If so, then can we get a proposed year round calendar?

  2. Great point. I love the idea of year round calendar. Unfortunately the Governor's order and subsequent guidance does not consider the possibility of a district wide application only "the adoption of an innovative school schedule for low performing, at risk or charter schools."

  3. Hello, unfortunately, I am very late coming across this blog (which is now saved as a favorite!)... I will still send in comments, albeit past the deadline. There are too many concerns, most mimic the previous commenter, for me to list here but my main concern is the extra week of child care I now have to pay for in the summer. Thank you Dr. Curry for taking the time to write these blogs.