Montgomery Co. students could get longer spring break once again

FILE - Montgomery County Public Schools headquarters. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON — It is a long way off, but education leaders in Montgomery County, Maryland, are already considering a calendar for the 2019-2020 school year.

The county’s board of education said this week that it would soon choose between a pair of calendar options.

One plan would return students to a longer spring break, while the other would implement a shorter break, similar to the current calendar.

“For the most part, people are very supportive of wanting to go back to the full, traditional spring break,” said board member Pat O’Neill. “That’s true across parents and staff members.”

Board members said they would seek input from the public and vote on a new calendar in the coming weeks, likely in November.

Both options would put the first day of classes on Sept. 3, 2019, and the last day on June 15, 2020.

“We’re putting both of these out for public comment, and then when they come back, we’ll make a recommendation to move one of them forward,” said board member Rebecca Smondrowski.

The school system recently reached out to thousands of parents, students, staff members and other residents for ideas on how to shape the new calendar.

It came after board members last year decided to make the 2018-2019 spring break six days long instead of the traditional 10 days.

School officials said they needed to shorten the break in part due to an executive order from Gov. Larry Hogan that required classes to begin after Labor Day and end by June 15.

The governor’s office dismissed that claim, saying, “Most jurisdictions have managed to adopt a common-sense calendar that prioritizes what students and families want.”

Under the current calendar, spring break runs in 2019 from April 17 through April 22.

The new proposed calendars have spring break running in 2020 from either April 6 through April 13 or from April 8 through April 13.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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