Schools set to start after Labor Day


Steven Roth, News Editor

The MCPS Board of Education originally set schools to start two weeks before Labor Day however, on August 31, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order requiring all state public schools to start classes after Labor Day and complete 180 days of class by June 15, effective at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. Some believe MCPS should apply for a waiver, but no formal request has been submitted by the county at this time.

A survey was conducted on September 15 to determine the thoughts of WJ staff on whether or not they supported this proposed schedule change. A total of 137 people participated in this survey, of whom 83.2% were professional staff and 16.8% were support staff. This survey produced mixed reviews, but there was a higher percentage of those who supported this change compared to those who did not. Fifty nine percent were in favor of the change and 40.9% were against it. Though more staff members supported this change, many felt indifferent about the change and believed that if this is what the board wanted to do, then so be it.

“In terms of the new schedule versus our current schedule, frankly, I’m indifferent,” English teacher Ian Matthews said. “It’s about shifting the schedule by a week. If [Governor] Hogan thinks this move would be good for the economy, then by all means, I think it would be a great thing.”
Many students appear to agree with Matthews in that this change has no significant impact on their lives.

“I’m indifferent about the schedule change, I don’t really care about school starting a week later. It does not affect me in any way,” freshman Michael Endrias said.

Though many students and teachers feel indifferent about the schedule change and gladly accept it, some believe this change is a negative one and should not be supported.

“I believe that the schedule change is not a good idea because it takes away the instructional time to prepare students for end of year exams, such as the PARCC and AP exams, so it does have an impact there,” English teacher Melanie MacFadden said.

In short, this survey and schedule change produced mixed, but mostly indifferent, reviews. But even though there are many mixed thoughts and feelings concerning this new schedule change, teachers and students must find a way to cope with it, unless a waiver is applied for and granted.