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Back to school for 6,600 kids

Worcester educators kick off year on Tuesday with energy, excitement
By Kara Hallissey | Aug 31, 2017

(Sept. 1, 2017) Summer is over for the more than 6,600 students who will report to Worcester County’s 14 public schools on Tuesday, Sept. 5, when the 2017-2018 school year begins.

“We are looking forward to welcoming students back on Tuesday with energy, enthusiasm and excitement,” Carrie Sterrs, Worcester County Board of Education spokesperson, said. “We expect 2017-2018 to be a very successful year both for our students and staff.”

As of Wednesday, 6,663 students will fill the halls this year as compared to last year when 6,689 students were enrolled.

The 180-day school calendar runs to Friday, June 15, with three cancelation days allowed for snow and other inclement weather days. The last day of school will be adjusted if the county school system does not use the days or they exceed that number, Sterrs said.

While students spend 180 days in class, the teachers must work 188 days. Some of those are professional days, which gives time off for students, but requires teachers to report for a full day. Four professional days are scheduled at the end of each marking period this year.

The schools will continue to implement computer technology advances during the fall. with kindergarten through third graders benefiting from iPads, fourth to eighth grade using Chromebooks and high school students receiving laptops.

“Nearly all high schools in our county are approaching the 1:1 ratio with the roll-out of laptop devices to incoming ninth grade students,” Sterrs said.

Thomas Zimmer, principal of Stephen Decatur High School, said he is looking forward to catching up with the upperclassman and getting to know the ninth graders.

“I enjoy hearing about what they’ve done over the summer and what they hope to do this year,” Zimmer said. “Ninth graders are a little unsure in the new building, but it is great to get to know them as well. Custodians have done an amazing job getting the building ready for the students. It looks clean and beautiful.”

Teachers participated in a number of professional development activities over the summer and inspirational slogans align the hallways of Stephen Decatur High School, he said.

“The first day of school to me has always been special,” Zimmer said. “Fresh start, big hopes and dreams, new clothes, and meeting new friends. I won't sleep much the night before because of the anticipation and excitement.”

Worcester County Public School holidays for the 2017-2018 school year are:

• Oct. 20: Maryland State Education Association Convention

• Nov. 10: Professional day

• Nov. 22-24: Thanksgiving break

• Dec. 22 - Jan. 2: Winter break

• Jan. 15: Dr. Martin Luther King Day

• Jan. 25-26: High school exams, half-day for all students

• Jan. 29: Professional day

• Feb. 19: Presidents Day

• March 29: Professional day

• March 30- April 2: Spring break

• April 9: Professional day

• May 28: Memorial Day

• June 14-15: High school exams, half-days for all students

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