CESJDS, MCPS announce respective calendars for 2020-2021 academic year

CESJDS and MCPS have released their respective calendars for the 2020-2021 academic year. Both show some minor tweaks from previous years' calendars.

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

CESJDS and MCPS have released their respective calendars for the 2020-2021 academic year. Both show some minor tweaks from previous years' calendars.

Both CESJDS and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) released their tentative calendars for the 2020-2021 school year earlier this month, showing new half-day dismissal times and fewer days off in the fall holiday season for JDS, and an earlier start for MCPS. 

Since many of the high holidays fall on weekends this upcoming year, there will be fewer days off in autumn than in previous years. While autumn holidays typically block out at least five days off, next year there will only be two. 

“I’m not looking forward to it [fewer days off] because in the past every year … you have more time to get accustomed to everything and sort of like warm up to school and the new year,” sophomore Avital Friedman said. “I think [it] will be unusual for the students and the teachers, and it’s just gonna be [a] much more stressful way earlier in the year.” 

While Academic Dean Aileen Goldstein thinks that this fall holiday season may be more challenging for observant students and teachers, she believes it will lead to a smoother start to the year.

“It will allow us to get into the depth of learning and the rhythm of learning in a much more consistent fashion earlier in the year which I would predict … would lead to deeper and more positive engagement with the learning,” Goldstein said.

The tentative JDS calendar also introduces a change in the Lower School dismissal time from 12:00 p.m. to 12:15 p.m. on half-days. In past years, there has been a roughly 15-minute difference with the Lower School dismissing students at 12:00 p.m. and the Upper School at 12:18 p.m.

MCPS will return to opening before Labor Day weekend because of recent legislation that overturned Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2016 executive order, which at the time, required Maryland public schools to open after Labor Day in order to support businesses along the Eastern Shore during the summer season.

“I think [MCPS’s earlier start date is] great because I needed to arrange a lot more childcare for my kids, and also I just believe that the school year should be a little longer so you don’t have to rush through the material,” MCPS parent and JDS math department chair Reuben Silberman said.