County students to start school after Labor Day in 2017

By Allysa McMahon
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer

Baltimore County students will start school after Labor Day next year under a 2017-2018 academic calendar that was approved by the Board of Education on a 7-3 vote Nov. 9.

The calendar meets the requirements of an executive order from Gov. Larry Hogan, who announced this fall that most Maryland schools would have to start in September rather than August. The calendar also provides five inclement weather days as well as closing the schools on Sept. 21 for Rosh Hashanah.

The board considered two other calendar options. The first one was no longer viable for Baltimore because of the governor’s order, said John Mayo, the chief human resources officer for the schools.

The third option also included a post Labor Day start but would have provided for  seven inclement weather days. This option would not have closed schools on the Sept. 21 Jewish holiday.

John Kantorski, the vice president of the PTA at Chapel Hill Elementary School, said parents agreed with the option adopted by the board.

“The big argument I have heard is between spring break and summer,” Kantorski said. “Parents need to find coverage for spring break as they would do for summer for each calendar option”

Muhammad Jameel, a member of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, said he was frustrated that the board only discussed and voted on what was presented as Option B, and completely dismissed the third option.

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