The end of the week and the beginning of next week is spring break for Frederick County Public Schools. On April 18th, 19th, and 22nd students and staff will have off of school to do as they please for spring break. Some families may be celebrating Easter and gathering together for family events. Other families may just enjoy the stress free long weekend away from school.
Spring break this year for FCPS is just three days off of school, in comparison to the past when it used to be around a week off. This change is because of the 2016 executive order Governor Larry Hogan made to start schools after Labor Day. By starting schools later and having to be in school for 180 days, it has been much more difficult to allot time during the school year for holiday breaks.
Finding a balance between summer break and breaks during the school year is a challenge and many school systems do it in very different ways. Some students wished we had our breaks a little differently and made some recommendations. “After each term we could have like a week or so break, three day weekends feel like nothing,” claimed junior Emerson Kelley.
Some students prefer the long summer break and enjoy starting school later in the year. Even though school ends much later than it used to, students do not mind it that much because by the end of the year classes are winding down. “The last two weeks of school are very relaxed,” said junior Garrett Kreimer. This is especially true for AP students who have already taken their AP tests in May that the AP classes prepare them for. Seniors also graduate much earlier than schools are let out now, so it is a lot less crowded in the school.
For many students, this short spring break is not going to be much of a break. Most students said they have sports and are working. If the break was going to be more than just three days off of school, it is likely more students would have traveled to see family or to relax. “If we had a longer spring break, I would have gone to my cabin,” expressed junior Nick Edwards.
The 2019-2020 FCPS calendar has already been made, but Maryland state lawmakers overrode the bill that allowed local school boards to determine the starting dates of school years. “Board President Brad Young said the overturned veto would not change the academic dates for 2019-2020 in Frederick County because the major dates on the calendar have already been set. Parents and school faculty may have already made plans,” . Since many dates are already set in place for next year’s school calendar, FCPS does not plan to make adjustments even after this bill has been overridden, but it is likely the school calendars will look different in years to follow.