Clarification on Next Year's Calendar

February 11, 2002
The 2002-2003 school year for the Montgomery County Public Schools begins prior to Labor Day because four additional non-school days were added to the calendar, two days for the general and primary elections and two days for teacher training and professional development activities.

In addition, no change has been made in the opening day for fall sports, which begin on August 15 in conjunction with high schools across the state.

This clarification is offered in response to questions raised by parents and employees about starting school earlier next year than this year or last year. Actually, starting school prior to Labor Day is not that unusual, with five of the past 10 school years using the earlier schedule.

The four additional non-school days begin with the Maryland primary on September 10, followed by the national general election on November 5. The additional teacher professional days are January 28 and March 19, and both of these days are for planning, training, and collaborative activities to improve instruction and student achievement during the school year.

Every effort was made to find a way to begin the school year later, but the additional days made this impractical. In fact, it is unlikely that future school years will begin after Labor Day.

The calendar was approved by the Board of Education in December 2001, based on the recommendation of the superintendent of schools and school system staff. Altogether, the school calendar is based on 184 instructional days for students, which include four contingency days for emergency closings. All or most of the contingency days have been needed in the past because of inclement weather emergencies.

The calendar for 2002-2003 and related information are available on the MCPS web site listed below.

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