Preference of Calendar A, B or C Sought Before Board's First Vote on March 10
The Wicomico County Board of Education is seeking input as it builds a calendar for the 2015-2016 school year. Three different draft calendars showing pre- and post-Labor Day starts have been drafted in order to gather feedback prior to Board votes at the March 10 and April 14 Board meetings.
The three draft calendars, along with a side-by-side comparison of dates in the three calendars, may be accessed from the www.wcboe.org home page by clicking on the Calendar Input button, or by visiting this link:
Calendar A would begin school on Monday, Aug. 24, and end the year on Monday, June 6.
Calendar B would begin school on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and end the year on Monday, June 20.
Calendar C would begin school on Monday, Aug. 31, and end the year on Thursday, June 9.
Please share your draft calendar preference and any other comments or suggestions as soon as possible by contacting either firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-677-5251. The Board is expected to discuss the 2015-2016 school calendar at its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on March 10. The Board is tentatively scheduled to have a 1st reading in March and 2nd and final reading at the April 14 Board meeting.
Wicomico has started school in late August for a number of years to give students as much instructional time as possible before the start of testing. However, there is ongoing discussion at the state level about potentially mandating a post-Labor Day start for all Maryland school systems. (Currently each school system determines its own starting date; Worcester County this year chose to start school after Labor Day based on community input.)
With that discussion in mind, three 2015-2016 draft calendars have been prepared for Wicomico Schools. Two of these calendars would start school prior to Labor Day, and one would start school the day after Labor Day. Calendar A would begin Aug. 24 and end on June 6. Calendar B would start the school year Sept. 8, after Labor Day, and end on June 20. The newly added Calendar C option would begin school on Aug. 31 and end it on June 9.
Please note that the draft 2015-2016 school calendars take into account the following:
- The school calendar must include a minimum of 180 days of instruction.
- Families and staff members have consistently supported two full weeks off for the winter break, whenever possible; all three draft calendars currently provide that.
- Wicomico teachers, by contract, work 190 days. The 10 days that teachers do not have students are professional development days or record management days. Four of the 10 days take place prior to the opening of the school year, and one day is scheduled for teachers after students leave for the summer.
- Schools must be closed at the following times, in accordance with COMAR (Code of Maryland): Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Presidents Day, Good Friday, the Monday after Easter, and Memorial Day. Additionally, Wicomico schools must be closed when there is a Primary or General Election; a Presidential Primary Election is currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 5.
- Makeup days, if needed, will be scheduled in accordance with Board of Education policy. Makeup days may occur on professional days, on a holiday break day, or at the end of the school year, or by requesting a state waiver for some missed days.