This year it includes getting the new Frederick High Ready for students.
Frederick, Md (KM). It may be a ten-week vacation for Frederick County Public School students, but that’s not the case with School System employees. “A lot of people have the misconception that as soon as the students leave, we’re done for the summer as well,” says spokesman Michael Doerrer. “In reality, that’s when some really hard work begins for us.”
He says custodians are deep cleaning the schools, and doing a lot of maintenance that couldn’t be done during the academic year because it could interfere with instruction. Teachers are also very busy during the summer. “We also do a lot to get ready instructionally, including planning curriculum, writing curriculum, preparing professional development for teachers,” says Doerrer.
This is all on top of getting a new Frederick High School building ready for students. “Not only are they finishing the last bits of the construction, they’re working on the grounds, working on road access. Most importantly, they’re starting to get furniture in, the equipment and supplies. But also getting furniture, equipment and supplies out of the old building,” Doerrer says. He says some of that furniture will be moved to other locations and some will be sold.
The new Frederick High School building is scheduled to open in September.
While that’s going on, the School System is also constructing Butterfly Ridge Elementary School, which is located along Butterfly Lane near McCain Drive in Frederick. “This year, we’ve actually have appointed a principal. Even though the school hasn’t been built, we have a principal. And the work to build the community around Butterfly Ridge, that’s really as important as building the physical structure,” he says.
The summer vacation for students has been extended due to an executive order by Governor Larry Hogan. This year, classes start on the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 5th. Previously, the first day of school was two weeks prior to Labor Day.
Doerrer was asked if this means there’s more time to complete a lot of the necessary tasks before classes begin for another year. “The more time you have, the more you find to do. It’s kind of like your to-do list at home. The more time you have to think about it, the more things you uncover that need to be done. So we’re surely going to take advantage of every minute that we have to prepare for the next school year,” he says.
By Kevin McManus