Howard County Times
Howard County

Howard County school board approves pre-Labor Day start for 2020-21 academic year

For the 2020-21 academic year, Howard County schools will open Aug. 25, nearly two weeks before Labor Day.

The Board of Education on Thursday night unanimously approved to have all 77 schools begin before Labor Day for the 2020-21 academic year. The last day of school for the 2020-21 academic year will be June 10, 2021.


Six inclement weather days are built into the calendar and, if all are used, the last day of school would become June 18, 2021.

Winter recess will begin on Christmas Eve, with schools reopening Jan. 4, 2021. Spring break will begin with a three-hour early dismissal April 1, 2021, with students returning to school April 12.


The school board reached its decision from two calendar options presented by the school system in September. Both proposals opted for a pre-Labor Day start.

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According to Ron Morris, a performance director for Area 3 schools for the school system, oral testimony was more favorable of the first proposal, while written testimony showed more support for the second proposal.

In the second proposal, schools were proposed to open Aug. 31, 2020, and close June 15, 2021.

The Maryland General Assembly voted in March to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill, which allowed public schools to start classes before Labor Day beginning this year. With the veto, the General Assembly voted to restore decisions over academic calendars to local school boards.

Howard schools opted to keep their existing calendar for the 2019-20 year.

Other closures in 2020-21 calendar include:

  • Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2020
  • Yom Kippur, Sept. 28, 2020
  • Professional work day, Oct. 16, 2020
  • Professional work day, Nov. 2, 2020
  • Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020
  • Thanksgiving break, Nov. 25-28, 2020
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18, 2021
  • Professional work day, Jan. 25, 2021
  • Professional learning day, Feb. 12, 2021
  • Presidents’ Day, Feb. 15, 2021
  • Professional work day, March 10, 2021
  • Professional work day, May 13, 2021
  • Memorial Day, May 31, 2021

Three-hour early dismissals for all schools in the 2020-21 calendar include:

  • Professional work day, Nov. 6, 2020
  • Parent teacher conferences, Nov. 23-24, 2020
  • Professional work days, June 7-10, 2021

The Baltimore County school board voted Tuesday night to start the 2020-21 academic year Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day, and end June 18.