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Elementary school students in their classroom.

Source: Chris Futcher / Getty

As teachers put the finishing touches on their classrooms and parents finish up back-to-school shopping, many area kids are set to begin a new school year.

Most school systems are announcing changes ahead of students’ return, including new start and end times to the school day and an increase in school lunch prices. WTOP has collected announced changes from each school system for parents and guardians.

For students starting school in Maryland, the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene made two changes to the required immunizations list for this school year, in addition to existing school immunization requirements.

All kindergarden and first-grade students must have two chicken pox vaccinations. All students entering seventh and eighth grades must have had one Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination and one meningitis vaccination. This change primarily impacts affects coming from countries outside the United States.

 Back to School Monday, Aug. 24:
Anne Arundel County Schools
  • Seven schools open a day late due to construction.
  • Schools open for grades 1-5 and 6-9 only. All other grades open Tuesday, Aug. 25.
  • 80,000 students are enrolled, the most in the system’s history.
  • 500 new teachers join the school system.
  • New curriculum for kindergarten and first-grade students.
  • Third middle school STEM magnet program opens at Central Middle School.
  • Monarch Global Academy Public Contract School adds a sixth-grade class.
  • Mary E. Moss Academy moves to J. Albert Adams Academy, serving grades six through nine.
Baltimore County Schools
  • New school Lyons Mill Elementary opens.
  • 111,000 students are enrolled in the state’s third-largest school system this year.
  • Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (STAT), a 1:1 learning initiative.
  • Expansion of Todos Adelante program for second-language acquisition.
D.C. Public Schools
  • All charter and DCPS students can now ride free on Metrorail. Students previously  were able to ride free only on Metrobus. Get more information here.
  • DCPS is opening four new schools: Van Ness Elementary School (Ward 6), Dorothy I. Height Elementary School (Ward 4), Brookland Middle School (Ward 5) and River Terrace Elementary School (Ward 7). River Terrace Elementary School is for students with multiple disabilities, including intellectual disability, medical complexity, visual or hearing impairment and autism.
  • 750 new teachers have been hired.
  • Schools will offer new AP courses and electives.
  • Cornerstones Initiative debuts.

    Diverse elementary students in the classroom

    Source: Getty

Frederick County, Maryland, Public Schools
  • More than 40,000 students will attend school this year.
  • New school cash online program offers parents another way to pay for field trips, sports fees, etc.
  • School lunch prices have changed this year. See the updated prices here.
  • The school system debuts a new website with links to social media.
  • The website parents use to track grades online has changed to Home Access Center.
Howard County Public Schools
  • There are 1,000 more students than last school year, and 400 new teachers.
  • Parents have a new way to monitor their child’s homework, grades and other information with HCPSS Connect.
  • The system debuts “Family File,” a new emergency card procedures system to keep medical contact information up to date. It can be accessed through HCPSS Connect.
  • Howard County High Schools get new websites.

Back to School Tuesday, Aug. 25:

Prince George’s County Schools
  • The price of school lunches increases for elementary and high school students. See the prices here.
  • Two new International High Schools — one within Largo High School in Upper Marlboro and another at Annapolis Road Academy in Bladensburg.
  • Ten high schools will see new improvements to athletic facilities this fall due to capital improvements.
  • Five elementary schools and two early childhood centers will have refurbished entrances to welcome students and parents.
Calvert County Schools
  • Implementation of the Elementary Advanced Learning Program, expansion of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and continued work to narrow the achievement gaps between various groups of students.
  • The system welcomes three new principals: Jessica Reynolds to Dowell Elementary, Mandy Blackmon to Southern Middle and Sabrina Bergen to Patuxent High. Principal Jaime Webster moves to Northern Middle.
  • Expanded technology infrastructure: a system-wide wireless network, additional mobile devices and online student accounts for document storage and collaboration.