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Harford school board adopts calendar for 2018-19 school year

The Harford County Board of Education on Monday approved the calendar for the 2018-19 school year. Classes will start Sept. 4, 2018 and end June 7, 2019, weather permitting.
The Harford County Board of Education on Monday approved the calendar for the 2018-19 school year. Classes will start Sept. 4, 2018 and end June 7, 2019, weather permitting. (MATT BUTTON/THE AEGIS/BSMG)

The calendar for Harford County Public Schools’ 2018-2019 school year has been adopted, with a unanimous vote by the Board of Education Monday night.

The first day of school for kindergarten through 12th grade will be Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in accordance with Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2016 executive order that public schools start after Labor Day. Pre-kindergarten students go back Thursday, Sept. 6, according to the calendar.

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Hogan also ordered that the 180-day school year end before June 15. The last day for Harford County students in pre-K will be Wednesday, June 5, 2019 and Friday, June 7 for kindergarten through 11th grade if none of the five scheduled inclement weather make-up days are used. Friday, June 14, will be the last day for students if all days are used.

Board members had no comments or questions for Acting Manager of Communications Lindsay Bilodeau during her presentation Monday evening. School board member Rachel Gauthier was absent.

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The proposed calendar had been presented to the board in October and then posted on the HCPS website for public comment. The school system received 43 comments via email, most of them related to the scheduling of 10 professional development days for staff, Bilodeau said.

The calendar includes seven professional development days scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 23 through Friday, Aug. 31, before students return.

“These days will allow time for school-wide, grade-level specific, content-specific and individual professional development prior to the start of the school year,” Bilodeau said.

The remaining days are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 5, the day before Election Day, and for two days after the last day of school in June, according to the calendar.

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Bilodeau said those days “were distributed as best we could to ensure we comply with the calendar requirements.”

Professional development will also be provided during the 10 early dismissal days — when students are dismissed three hours early — spread throughout the year, according to Bilodeau.

Schools will be closed for six one-day holidays, including Labor Day (Sept. 3), the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 10) and Yom Kippur (Sept. 19), Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 21), Presidents’ Day (Feb. 18) and Memorial Day (May 27).

Schools will also be closed Oct. 19 for the annual Maryland State Education Association convention, and Nov. 6 for Election Day, according to the calendar.

Thanksgiving break starts Wednesday, Nov. 21 with an early dismissal, and schools will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23.

Winter break starts with early dismissal Friday, Dec. 21 and runs through New Year’s Day.

Spring break 2019, based around Good Friday and Easter, runs from Friday, April 19 to Monday, April 22, according to the calendar. Both days off are required by state regulations.

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