Montgomery County Considers Starting School Year Earlier

The Montgomery County school board is considering whether to change the school calendar and shift summer vacations.

If approved, students would start the 2017-18 school year a week earlier on Aug. 21 and end the year just after Memorial Day. That would give students an extra week of learning before the mid-May state exams and less potentially idle classroom time after it.

“It also puts us in alignment with 11 other school districts in Maryland, including Frederick and Prince George’s counties,” Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Derek Turner said.

News4 learned 1,300 parents, students and staffers have sent comments about the plan to the school district.

One high school social studies teacher wrote about the problem with the current schedule keeping students in school so deep into June: “Some teachers like to use this time to show a relevant movie or documentary with an accompanying assignment. Those teachers have been reprimanded for showing movies.”

A parent who opposes the plan wrote, “For families like mine who work for Congress or aligned with the congressional calendar, our vacations must almost always be during the August recess.”

The county’s parks and camps said they’ll shift their programming earlier if the school district makes the change.

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