01.01.2016.13

EXECUTIVE ORDER 01.01.2016.13

Starting the Public School Year after Labor Day
(Amends Executive Order 01.01.2016.09)

A. That all Kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in the State of Maryland (Public Schools), through the local boards of education, shall open for pupil attendance no earlier than the Tuesday immediately following the nationally-observed Labor Day holiday.

B. That classes shall conclude and the school year for every public school in Maryland shall adjourn no later than June 15, with the exception being summer school classes offered by school districts throughout the State.

C. That each local board of education shall retain full responsibility for establishing its annual academic calendar and, therefore, shall have the necessary latitude to determine how best to comply with the provisions of this Executive Order along with State and local laws.

D. That the requirements of this Executive Order do not apply to the operation of year-round schools as allowed under §7-103(e) of the Education Article of the Maryland Code.

E. That the requirements of this Executive Order do not apply to the timing of sports seasons as set forth in COMAR 13A.06.03.03.

F. Students with disabilities, subject to an existing individualized education program that has identified the student's final year of school as the 2017-2018 school year, shall remain eligible for the 2017-2018 school year if their 20th birthday occurred on or after the first day of the academic calendar in their jurisdiction for the 2016-2017 school year.

G. That a local board of education may apply to the State Board of Education annually for a waiver of the requirements of this Executive Order. A waiver shall only be granted after the local board of education satisfies the procedural requirements set forth in Section (1)(b) below and clearly establishes all of the elements of one of the compelling justifications set forth in Section (2) below.

(1) Application for Waiver.

(a) A local board of education may submit a written application for a waiver from the requirement to begin classes no sooner than the Tuesday following the nationally-observed Labor Day holiday or ending classes no later than June 15th based upon a compelling justification as defined herein.

(b) A waiver application shall include:

(i) A detailed petition and supporting documentation clearly establishing that all of the elements of one of the below compelling justifications for starting the school year prior to Labor Day or ending classes after June 15th have been met;

(ii) A certification that the local school board has conducted at least one public meeting at which the waiver application was considered and approved, together with minutes of all such meetings; and

(iii) Any additional information that the State Board of Education requests in order to comply with the requirements of this Executive Order.

(C) The timelines for applications for a waiver shall be established by the State Board of Education.

(2) For the purpose of this Executive Order, “Compelling Justification” means only:

(a) Adoption of Innovative Schedule. A local board of education proposes an innovative school schedule for certain low-performing or at risk public schools, as encouraged in §7-103.1 of the Education Article of the Maryland Code, which requires an opening date before Labor Day or ending classes after June 15th;

(b) Charter Schools. A local board of education proposes an innovative school schedule for a charter school that requires an opening date before Labor Day or ending classes after June 15th; or

(c) Emergency School Closings. Local school districts have closed 10 days per year during any 2 of the last 5 years because of natural disasters, civil disasters, or severe weather conditions.

(3) Any waiver granted by the State Board of Education pursuant to Sections (2)(a) or (2)(b) shall only apply to those schools where such innovative school schedules are offered.

(4) Any waiver granted by the State Board of Education shall be for only one school year.

H. That this Executive Order applies to future school years, including and after 2017-2018.

Effective Date: October 11, 2016