School Calendar Options Presented

SALISBURY – Parents of students in Wicomico County will be asked to comment on two proposed school calendars for the 2019-2020 academic year.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Board of Education approved the first reading of two proposed school calendars for the coming academic year, and it appears the two versions have very little variation.

“I couldn’t see the difference between (versions) A and B,” school board member Allen Brown said.

Kim Miles, the school system’s assistant superintendent for student and family services, explained parameters placed on the school system by Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order mandated a post-Labor Day start had limited its options.

“If you look at them side by side, October 18 is your point of focus,” she said.

In the first version of the school calendar, the academic year begins on Sept. 3 and ends on June 11.

“In version A, October 18 is a professional day, meaning students would not come to school but schools would be open for teachers and central office and school offices would be open,” Miles said. “That has teachers’ last day marked as June 11.”

In the second version of the calendar, the academic year begins on Sept. 3 and ends on June 12.

“In version B, October 18 is still a non-school day for students, but it is also presented as a non-work day for teachers,” Miles said. “That changes, on draft B, the teachers’ last day to June 12.”

Despite the one variation, school officials noted the two calendars are essentially identical. Both include three days off for Thanksgiving and nearly two weeks off for winter break and New Year’s Day.

“We have very little flexibility, if you recall from previous discussions, on the calendar,” Superintendent Donna Hanlin said.

She noted the two calendars will be sent out for public comments and brought back to the board for a second reading in January.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.