Board of Education Considers 2017-2018 Academic Calendar Proposal
December 15th, 2016
The Howard County Board of Education is reviewing a new proposal for the 2017-2018 Academic Calendar presented Thursday, Dec. 15 by the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) at a monthly Board meeting.
The 2017-2018 Academic Calendar Planning Committee prepared two versions of the calendar: one in compliance with Governor Hogan’s recent Executive Order to begin and close schools between Labor Day and June 15, and a second reflecting the Board’s April 2016 decision to begin the school year on August 28, 2017. Although both calendar versions were provided to the Board, the HCPSS does not meet any of the criteria for a waiver of the Governor’s order.
In preparing its recommendation, the committee considered how to best support instruction within set parameters defined by negotiated agreements, district policies, state laws and State Board of Education regulations. The academic calendar must include 180 student days and 13 professional days for staff.
The first day of school for students would be Tuesday, September 5, according to the 2017-2018 Calendar proposal, which includes several notable differences from recent academic calendars:
- Seven, rather than five, work days for school staff immediately prior to the first day of school.
- One staff work day after the last student day.
- A shorter Spring Break, consisting of the mandatory State holidays for Good Friday and Easter Monday plus two additional days.
- Five inclement weather days placed as early in the school year as possible, including two Spring Break days along with Presidents Day and Easter Monday. Both are state mandated holidays and would require a waiver before use.
The proposed calendar also reflects the results of the recent Calendar Impact Survey, which looked at the impact of student and staff absences for religious and cultural observances on the school system’s ability to deliver instruction and operate facilities effectively. Based on this feedback, schools and offices will be closed for both staff and students on Rosh Hashanah, September 21. School will be closed for students, and staff are scheduled for professional work or learning days, on October 19, coinciding with Diwali; and February 16, coinciding with the Lunar New Year. September 1 is a professional day that coincides with Eid Al-Adha and occurs before school opens for students.
The full 2017-2018 Academic Calendar proposal report and presentation are available online. A public hearing is scheduled for January 26, 2017, with Board action scheduled for February 23, 2017. Any member of the public may testify at a public hearing. Registration will be available beginning Thursday, January 5. Details on our website.