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Montgomery County Recreation Department and Public Schools Extend Summer Programs Due to Later Start Date of the School Year

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Montgomery County announced today that summer camp programs will be extended to support families without childcare options due to the later start time of the school year. This follows the executive order that Gov. Larry Hogan signed last fall, which required Maryland’s public schools to start classes after Labor Day, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) traditionally started the school year the first Monday of the last full week in August.


County Executive Ike Leggett joined by Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith, Board of Education Vice President Dr. Judith Docca and Department of Recreation Director Gabe Albornoz made the announcement at a press event held at the Mid-County Community Recreation Center located in Silver Spring.


“The later start of the school year presented a challenge for many hard-working families who may not have an option to take additional time off from work,” said Leggett. “Extending the summer camp offerings is an example of how our Recreation Department and Public Schools work together to ensure our children have the highest quality of programs and services and demonstrates how the County supports families who are juggling many responsibilities.”


Montgomery County Recreation added more than 40 additional full or half-day programs to effectively serve families due to the later start date for the school year. This included six Summer Fun Centers (SFC), which are the Department of Recreation’s most affordable summer day programs. These SFC were positioned to serve communities with the greatest number of families eligible for the RecAssist, which is the Department of Recreation’s financial assistance program.


“While the Board of Education does not believe it was the Governor's intent to hurt families and children – especially low-income families – the delay in start time created by his Executive Order means more food insecurity and uncertainty for where children can spend this additional time,” said Docca. “Thankfully, the Department of Recreation has extended their summer programs to help cover this critical gap.”


“We appreciate the flexibility the Department of Recreation has shown by adjusting its calendar for the students of Montgomery County,” said Smith.  “Programs like the ones provided by our partners in the Recreation Department help keep our students’ minds and bodies active and engaged over the summer, which make them better prepared to come back to school in the fall ready to learn.”


Summer programs can play an important role in ensuring that children are inspired to learn and are prepared to begin the new academic year. The Department of Recreation and MCPS are longstanding partners in the provision of out-of-school programs. Partnership programs such as Excel Beyond the Bell and the Dream Academy have earned national recognition and showcase the benefits of successful collaboration between MCPS and the Department of Recreation.


“The Recreation Department wants to do everything possible to ensure that our children and families have the services and support they need to reach their full potential”, said Albornoz. “The affordable, high quality summer programs we offer have been a safety-net service for many families.”


In addition to the extended summer programs the Department of Recreation offers hundreds of exciting camps to promote active and healthy lifestyles for children this summer. Camp registration is available at, the registration and facility reservation system shared by Montgomery Parks, Montgomery County Recreation and Community Use of Public Facilities.


A summer program catalogue is available at Print copies are available at community recreation centers, park facilities, aquatic centers, senior centers and public libraries.


Registration is also available by mail, fax to 240-777-6818 or in person at most recreation and parks facilities including community recreation centers, ice rinks, tennis centers, aquatic facilities and at the Montgomery County Recreation Administrative Offices at 4010 Randolph Road in Silver Spring.


For more information about summer programs call 240-777-6840.


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Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Judy Stiles 240-777-6507