TOWSON, Md. — Baltimore County Public Schools are trying to get the community’s input on when school should start next year.
While most students are focused on the school year ending and the freedom of summer break, the county is trying to ascertain if the 2019-2020 school year should start on Monday, Aug. 26, before Labor Day, or Sept. 3, after the holiday weekend. They are asking county residents to vote on which they prefer.
On March 5, BCPS approved a calendar for next year based on the idea of a 6.5 hour school day, extending each day by about 15 minutes. When the recent county budget was proposed, funding for the slightly longer day was not included, leaving the district with a 30 minute cushion for the 180 days and 1,170 hours required by the Maryland State Department of Education. An adjustment to the calendar is needed to accommodate for potential emergency or weather related closures.
The Teachers Association of Baltimore County also did not agree on the current school year’s memorandum of understanding that would add five minutes to each day, building an 18.5-hour cushion for the 2018-2019 school year. If that memorandum had been approved, it would build a 15.2 hour-cushion for the 2019-2020 school year, BCPS said in a statement.
An online survey has been set up to inform county residents of their choices and allow them to cast a vote. All votes must be submitted by Friday, May 31.
If a pre-Labor Day start is picked, the year would start on Aug. 26. Students would get a full, 10-day spring break between April 6 and April 13, 2020. The last day of the school year would be June 16, 2020.
If a post-Labor Day start is chosen, the year would begin on Sept. 3, with a shortened spring break running from April 8 through April 13, 2020. The last day for students would be June 19, 2020.
The Board of Education will view the results of the online survey and make their decision during a vote at the Tuesday, June 11, 2019 board meeting.