Pre-Labor Day Start Date and Virtual School for Snow Days Discussed by BOE

The FCPS Calendar Committee gave the presentation on Wednesday night.

Frederick, MD – The Board of Education met on Wednesday night to discuss a presentation gave by the FCPS Calendar Committee concerning a pre-labor day start for the 2020-2021 school year.

Executive director of FCPS curriculum, instruction, and innovation Kevin Cuppett presented the committee’s two recommendations for a pre-labor day start.

“One’s a pre-labor day start and one’s an earlier pre-labor day start,” Cuppett said. “These are the two options that the Caledar Committee wanted to put forward.”

The first option has the fall semester scheduled for August 24, 2020, and the last day scheduled for June 8, 2021 creating 27 full weeks of school. The option includes a week long spring break in April and days off for Fair Day and Yom Kippur.

Cuppet said the second option tries to follow FCC’s calendar and has the fall semester scheduled for Aug. 17, 2020, and ending May 27, 2021 creating 31 full weeks of school. Students would have school on Fair Day and Yom Kippur, but they would have a week long fall break during Thanksgiving week and a week long spring break at the end of March.

The current FCPS schedule has 26 full weeks of school and is closed for Fair Day and Yom Kippur, but does not have a fall or spring break.

Also discussed at the presentation was a new method of students making up work on snow days.

Options presented would have students continuing instruction and assignments while schools are closed for snow.

“The idea behind this is it would replace the need to make up that snow day,” Cuppett said. “… It’s not due the next day, it’s due usually five or even sometimes 10 days afterwards.”

The issue of equity regarding student’s internet access was brought up as hurdle for virtual school on snow days, which Cuppett said could be handled by low-tech “blizzard bags” that would contains school materials that students would be given in anticipation of upcoming snow.

Cuppett said the board will further discuss the two options in December to adopt a calendar or make changes.

2020-2021 calendar options will be drafted and presented sometime early next year.

By Timothy Young