BOE Extends 2020 Spring Break in Unanimous Vote

Emily Nagy, Editor-in-Chief

Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) Board of Education (BOE) approved a six-day spring break for the 2019-2020 school year after shortening it for this current school year due to calendar restrictions.

MCPS proposed two calendars to the BOE Sept. 13 for the 2019-2020 school year with one scenario restoring the full spring break and the other with a shortened break similar to this year. The school board voted unanimously to adopt the calendar.

The state of Maryland requires 180 instructional days in a school year and Gov. Hogan’s 2016 executive order requires those days begin after Labor Day and end by June 15.  This left little room for scheduling professional days and breaks while still completing course curriculums. Superintendent Jack proposed 182 instructional days in both scenarios to factor in inclement weather, according to his Nov. 13 memo.

Both proposed school calendar options began Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 and end June 15, 2020.  The main difference between the proposed calendars was the time allocated for spring break. One scenario provided six days for spring break from April 6-13, while the second scenario provided only four days, from April 8-13.  

“I think a longer spring break would help students relax and have time to decompress before starting the time period where exams are close and everyone is stressed,” junior Kate Holland said.

The process of creating the new school year calendar began in July 2018 after reviewing surveys from the previous year, state parameters for upcoming year and taking the superintendent’s guidance into consideration, according to a graphic on MCPS website. The BOE met Oct. 9 to further discuss the two scenarios and after the BOE meeting, [MCPS has] received 3,260 comments through our website, Smith said in the Nov. 13 memo.