Wicomico Opts For Post-Labor Day School Start Date

Wicomico Opts For Post-Labor Day School Start Date
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SALISBURY – The school board voted this week to approve an amended calendar for the 2020-2021 academic year after receiving more than 1,600 responses from the community.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Board of Education approved on second reading a 2020-2021 school calendar for that will begin the academic year on Sept. 8 and end the academic year on June 15.

“We are presenting a calendar for consideration and second reading,” Kim Miles, assistant superintendent for student and family services, told the board this week. “This calendar takes into account the feedback, which we were extremely excited about.”

In December, school officials presented two proposed school calendars for 2020-2021. In the first version of the calendar, Draft A, the academic year started on Aug. 31 and ended on June 9. In the second version, Draft B, the academic year started on Sept. 8 and ended on June 14.

Throughout late December and early January, the school system received 1,685 responses and more than 400 written comments on the proposed school calendars, Miles said. Based on those results, officials this week presented the school board with a revised calendar for Draft B, which received favorable responses from more than 63% of survey takers.

“That is a revision from what was originally presented in the post-Labor Day calendar,” Miles said. “It was the post-Labor Day calendar that did receive the greatest response from those who completed the survey.”

Miles said the revised Draft B calendar included a winter break that started on Dec. 21 instead of Dec. 23 as originally proposed. The last day of school for students was also moved to June 15 with half days on June 11, June 14 and June 15.

“The inclimate weather make-up days would be presented as November 13, February 1, February 15 and then June 16 and 17, keeping in accord with the requirement that three of our five will be presented prior to the June 15 date,” she said.

Miles recognized school system staff and community members for their support. She said feedback from the public played a crucial role in creating a revised calendar.

“We want everyone who provided feedback to know that it’s very valued and very important to us …,” she said. “Our community has spoken, and our board has been very responsive.”

The school board voted 7-0 to approve the amended calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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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.