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Howard County schools are following in the footsteps of many Maryland school systems in delaying the use of newfound flexibility to have local control over when they start the academic year.

Instead of altering the first day of school for this coming September, the school system is maintaining its Sept. 3 start date for the 77-school district.

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“The decision to maintain the existing student start date of Sept. 3, 2019, was made in fairness of students, families and staff who have already scheduled vacations, camps, employment and other summer plans,” according to a news release from the school system.

Last month, the Maryland General Assembly voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that will allow public schools to begin classes before Labor Day. The vote undid Hogan’s 2016 executive order that mandated the later start and returned the control of each school system’s calendar to the respective local school boards.

The Howard County school board approved the 2019-2020 academic calendar in November.

The county school system announced Monday that all four of its “inclement weather make-up days” have been used and as a result all schools will be in session until June 21.

In 2020, the last day of school is scheduled for June 15 for students and June 20 for staff. In the calendar, there are five inclement weather days built in for potential closings, such as snow. If any of the five days are used due to inclement weather before June 15, students will make them up between June 16 and June 22.

Following the current academic year, the system will not trim spring vacation if schools close frequently before the break due to inclement weather. Spring break will be between April 6, 2020, and April 13, 2020.

Winter break is set for Dec. 23, 2019, until Jan. 1, 2020, with schools reopening Jan. 2, 2020.

The school district will also be closed:

  • Nov. 27-29, 2019, for Thanksgiving
  • Jan. 20, 2020, for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Feb. 17, 2020, for Presidents Day
  • April 28, 2020, for the Maryland primary election
  • May 25, 2020, for Memorial Day

Howard schools will also close or have early dismissals several times throughout the year for various professional work days for staff.

The Baltimore Sun contributed to this article.

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