Carroll BOE talks last day of school, school choice at May meeting

Carroll County Public Schools students will officially have their last day on June 9 after the Maryland State Board of Education approved a waiver of what would've been the 180th and final day.

The Carroll County Board of Education approved the date Wednesday night at its May board meeting. Because of the number of snow days used, the last day of school was set for June 12, a Monday, and the last day traditionally dismisses early. CCPS used its third snow day — out of five built into the calendar — during the Nor'easter in March that dumped snow across the eastern part of the country, including 5 to 8 inches in Carroll.


The approved last day on the Friday before, June 9, will still have an early dismissal Guthrie told school board members Wednesday.

The lack of snow days, and the state mandate to start school after Labor Day, gives kids about two more weeks of summer than in past years, bumping break from about 10 weeks to about 12.

School board members also discussed the impact of changing out-of-district regulations, which loosened rules allowing students to attend schools outside of their home school. Carroll's school board, at its December meeting, approved revisions to the board policy.

Schools classified as open have an adjusted capacity enrollment of up to 96 percent, Dana Falls, director of Student Services told the Times in December, and a school classified as closed to most students in out-of-attendance areas has an enrollment of 97 percent or higher.

A presentation Wednesday showed the most recent numbers — and comparisons to previous years. In the 2015-2016 school year, there were 192 new applications. In 2016-2017, there were 193 new applicants. There are again 193 new applicants for the 2017-2018 school year.

Prior to the change in regulations, students had to reapply every year for transfer to a school outside of their home school. Under the change, students only have reapply when they change school level.

More students were approved in the 2017-2018 with the loosening of restrictions — 185 over the 146 in the previous year.

The biggest change came from new enrollment to CCPS. These would be students who were previously home-schooled or enrolled in private schools, Guthrie said.

In the 2016-2017 school year, there were eight new enrollments. There are 17 so far for the 2017-2018 school year, with the loosened rules about school choice within the county.

"The hope is that this will build," Guthrie said. "We're very pleased with this data."