The Anne Arundel County public school system will stick with a school calendar for next year that doesn’t begin until after Labor Day.
The Board of Education in the Maryland county voted Nov. 20 to adopt a school calendar that calls for classes to begin on Sept. 8, 2020, and end on June 18, 2021.
The school board’s decision continues a recent trend to start school in early September, following a mandate from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan that was later overruled by the Maryland General Assembly.
The school system announced the calendar for the upcoming year in a news release.
In addition to approving the overall calendar, the school board decided to keep a three-day Easter/spring break next school year. An earlier proposal had called for a six-day spring break. The 2020-2021 calendar also maintains all of the closing dates in this year’s calendar.
The board has decided to allow students who miss school for a religious observance the option to make up any work they missed. However, the board said it will continue to discuss whether it should close schools entirely on Eid-al-Fitr, the religious holiday celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan. That falls on May 13, 2021, next school year.
Other changes still up for consideration include: whether students should be dismissed early on days when there are parent-teacher conferences instead of having the entire day off, and whether four planned early dismissal days for teacher development should be moved from Wednesdays to Fridays.
After years of beginning the school year in late August, Anne Arundel County Public Schools started after Labor Day beginning with the 2017 school year. That followed a controversial executive order issued by Hogan requiring schools to stay closed through August.
Last spring, the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate approved a school calendar bill that lets local school districts set their own calendars. The legislature later voted to override Hogan’s veto of the measure.