School year includes Jewish holidays

Montgomery Country students will retain their days off on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in 2018, after the Board of Education adopted a 2018-19 school calendar that designates those days as noninstructional days.

The calendar, approved Nov. 14, also calls for no school on June 5, 2019, which coincides with the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.
The school year in the county will begin on Sept. 4, 2018 and end on June 13, 2019.

The inclusion of Jewish holidays has been traditional for the school system. But coming up with a 2018-19 calendar was complicated by Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) 2016 executive order which mandated the school year to start no earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day and end no later than June 15 while maintaining 180 instructional days, 15 state holidays and built-in makeup days.

To accommodate these restrictions, the administration put together several sample calendars — not all of which included the Jewish holidays. In the adopted calendar, those days are kept intact while spring break is cut from 10 days to six.

“I know that we had a lot of comments that folks would really like us to have a full spring break, and I would love to be able to have a full spring break,” Board Member Patricia O’Neill said during the meeting. “But it’s just not possible to do everything. Not necessarily everyone is going to be happy with this calendar, but we’re playing the hand we have been dealt. This is as good as we can do.”

hmonicken@midatlanticmedia.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *