By CBS Baltimore Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Public Schools will close June 20 in observance of Juneteenth and dismiss two hours early on Dec. 23 “for staff and student personal wellness,” the school system said.

The county board of education approved the schedule changes on Wednesday night.

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Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of African-American slaves, is observed annually on June 19, which falls on a Sunday this year. The board decided to recognize the holiday on Monday, June 20.

As a result, the school year will now end on Wednesday, June 22. Students will be dismissed two hours early on both June 21 and June 22, the school system said.

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A work-study group will meet on Dec. 23 to consider additional ways to help teachers and staff, the school system said.

The board asked Superintendent George Arlotto to consider closing schools on May 3, a day when class is already scheduled to dismiss early for an afternoon of professional development for teachers and staff.

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Arlotto will make a recommendation on the change at the board’s next meeting on Jan. 5.

CBS Baltimore Staff