BALTIMORE — Maryland public school systems began re-opening on Monday, August 28, 2017. However, most Maryland schools are opening after Labor Day for the first time in more than two decades, following Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order requiring a post-Labor Day start to the new school year for most schools and systems.
Another new record number of students is expected to fill classrooms for the 2017-18 academic year.
“This first day of school is an exciting time for students, parents and teachers,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration remains committed to ensuring that every Maryland student has access to a world-class education, and we wish everyone a safe and productive school year.”
Maryland school enrollment hit a record 886,221 students in 2016-17, with another 250,000 children involved in some form of pre-kindergarten, Head Start or licensed childcare program. Those numbers are expected to continue to rise.
Schools this fall begin the fourth full year of implementation of the stronger academic standards designed to better prepare students for life after graduation. Assessment data released earlier this week found progress being made, particularly in English language arts.
“Our ultimate goal is to provide students with a foundation for success in college or career,” said Dr. Karen B. Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “Maryland high school graduates must be ready for today’s jobs and those that will be created down the road.”
The latest revision of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act was signed into law in 2015. The new law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), provides a long-term, stable federal policy that gives states additional flexibility and encourages innovation in states, local school systems and schools, while at the same time holding all entities accountable for results. The Maryland State Department of Education spent more than a year working with the broad-based ESSA Stakeholder Committee, posting two on-line surveys and holding listening sessions throughout the State. The final plan is scheduled to be sent to the U.S. Department of
Education for its approval next month, following its approval by the Maryland State Board of Education this week. More on ESSA can be found here: http://bit.ly/2blFN1q.
Maryland’s Department of Health requires new immunizations this year, and all Maryland schools are required to stock the anti-overdose drug, Naloxone.
All students entering kindergarten, first, second and third grade must have had two varicella vaccinations before the first day of school. All students entering seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth grades must have had one Tdap vaccination and one meningococcal (MCV4) vaccination before the first day of school.
For more information, see the Department of Health’s immunization page: https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/IMMUN/Pages/back-to-school-immunization-requirements.aspx
All Maryland schools this fall are required to stock Naloxone— commonly known by its prescription name, Narcan— the overdose reversal medication. Staff are being trained how to administer the drug, all thanks to the Start Talking Maryland Act. A new law, known as the Start Talking Maryland Act, also requires schools to begin instructing students in the dangers of drugs starting in grade three.
All counties schools, except Garret and Allegany along with the statewide SEED School, open on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Please note that some individual schools and grades have different start dates. Please check with your local school system for more information.
MSDE’s round-up of school openings and closings can be found here: http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/School-Systems/Open-Closing-Dates.aspx