2020 – 2021 School Year Calendar

UPDATE - December 4, 2019

The Board of Education adopted the school year calendar for the 2020-2021 school year during its December 3, 2019 meeting.  The traditional school year will begin on Monday, August 31, 2020, and the last day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The calendar includes 182 days of instruction, a 10-day spring break, one full day of planning and professional development at the end of each quarter; one operational closure in September; and two additional professional days in the second semester (February and May).

Adopted FY2021 Traditional Calendar

Adopted FY2021 Traditional Calendar

Adopted FY2021 Innovative Calendar

Adopted FY2021 Innovative Calendar

Closings Required
by State Law

In fall 2020, Labor Day falls on Monday, September 7, 2020;

State law requires schools to be closed on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Election Day
  • Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, 2020: Thanksgiving and the day after
  • Thursday, December 24, 2020, through Friday, January 1, 2021: Christmas Eve through News Year's Day
  • Monday, January 18, 2021: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Board of Education policy no longer requires schools to be closed on Inauguration Day, Wednesday, January 20 (amended Nov. 12, 2019)
  • Monday, February 15, 2021: Presidents' Day
  • Friday, April 2, 2021: Friday before Easter
  • Monday, April 5, 2021: Monday after Easter
  • Monday, May 31, 2021: Memorial Day

Policy Guidelines Regarding School Closures:

  • In determining whether to close schools on a particular day, the Board of Education must comply with requirements under the U.S. Constitution, federal and state law, as well as Board of Education policy. The Board must have a secular justification for closing schools, in the form of promoting educational interests and advancing operational needs of the school system. Under the First Amendment, the school system cannot be closed in order to advance religion.
  • Board Policy IDA, School Year Calendar, states that: “The Board may determine that schools should be closed at other times in furtherance of other educational interests or operational needs.” Click HERE to view Policy IDA.
  • System closures and Professional Development days are implemented to further a wide range of educational and operational objectives, including to: positively impact student and staff morale; maximize student and staff attendance; promote safe school environments; avoid disruption to the delivery of effective and meaningful instruction; increase planning and learning time for teachers and other staff; and align with other factors relevant to the instructional calendar and school year.
  • A student’s observance of a religious holiday is an excused absence under Maryland law.

November 21, 2019

Process and Community Engagement: An internal work group of staff from a wide range of MCPS offices and departments works to develop the instructional calendar framework. This group works through a range of possible scenarios that would include and ensure compliance with the minimum instructional day and credit hour requirements (180-day minimum), contingencies for inclement weather and other emergencies, alignment with assessment schedules, and school closures mandated by state law.

Staff also meets with stakeholders to gather initial feedback and input on the calendar and the draft scenarios. These initial conversations have include: employee associations and representatives; Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals Joint Collaboration Committee; Innovative School Year Implementation Group; advocacy groups; Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations; and the Student Advisory Council.

Following the Board of Education’s discussion, staff prepares the scenarios that the Board would like to put forward for public comment. The identified draft scenarios of the school year calendar are made available for public comment and feedback. A robust communication and outreach effort is then launched to ensure that our community is aware of the conversation and possible directions for development of the school year calendar. Communications strategies include:

  • Website with calendar graphics and option to provide feedback;
  • E-mail and Connect-ED distribution inviting comment;
  • Web survey;
  • Social media;
  • Internal and external stakeholder discussions; and
  • Outreach to students.

MCPS considers the results of this feedback and outreach and provides a report of the public comments to the Board of Education as part of the deliberations to finalize the calendar.