MCPS releases calendar for 2020-2021 school year

Classes to begin before labor day


By Ethan Wagner

The MCPS Board of Education released the 2020-2021 school year calendar Dec. 3. The BOE voted for classes to begin before Labor Day and end June 16, 2021, among other changes.

The final schedule includes 182 instructional days and a 10 day spring break. New changes also include professional days on Lunar New Year on Feb. 12 and the Muslim Holiday of Eid al Fitr on July 19-20. 

Since school will begin before Labor Day, fall athletes will return from summer break the first day of school rather than at the beginning of August. Some athletes are concerned with this change because for the past few years, they’ve had a few weeks of practice between pre-season and the first day of school.

“If school starts earlier, we’re going to have practices after school, and school work is going to pile up,” soccer player Leo Velloso said. “We’re also not going to have as much time at home to rest up.”

The discussion for a new calendar first began on June 12, when the BOE met to review possible calendar options and structural guidelines. Since then, the board has held several meetings. 

“The instructional time early in the year is more productive than what we have in June,” Board member Patricia O’Neill said.

Board members also created an experimental calendar for the 2020-2021 school year, where school would start on July 6, 2020 and end June 14, 2021, making for 210 total instructional days. Two schools in the county — Arcola Elementary School and Roscoe Nix Elementary School — will use this option to explore the effects of a shorter summer break on lower income students. 

“We would like it to expand to more schools,” O’Neill said. “We’re taking a go-slow approach.”