During its Monday night meeting, the Clinton City Board of Education received a revised 2013-14 school calendar to consider for approval, one that would drop five days currently built into the calendar.
The board had already agreed on a 2013-14 school calendar back in the fall of 2012, which Terrace Miller, assistant superintendent for student services and federal programs, noted was “approved earlier than normal.”
That initial calendar was comprised of 185 school days.
Now, the board has been presented with a 2013-14 calendar comprised of only 180 days, the same number of days being utilized this school year.
When asked why the initially approved calendar featured 185 days, Miller explained that 185 days of school is “what had been legislated. At the time, there was no option to do 180 days.”
Now, however, the school board has more options to consider.
The 2012 Senate Bill 187 (Session Law 2012-145) applies beginning with the 2013-14 school year and rewrites a portion of the calendar law (General Statute 115C-84.2). Included in this bill is legislation that calls for the school year to cover at least nine calendar months and the school calendar must be comprised of at least 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction.
According to Miller, school officials decided to present the board with a new calendar that accomplishes the 1,025 hours of instruction in just 180 days.
“That’s the way this current year’s calendar is and people seem to be used to the 18- day calendar,” said Miller.
Board member Diane Viser questioned if the school days would have to be lengthened in order to accommodate the required amount of hours and, if so, how much longer would students be required to stay at school.
In order to accomplish the hours required in 180 days, Miller acknowledged that a couple of schools would have to add a few additional minutes to their school day.
L.C. Kerr Elementary School will have to lengthen its day by about 20 minutes and Butler Avenue Elementary School will have to add about five minutes.
“For the most part, students are already on campus during that time,” stressed Miller. “They may not be in class. They may be in a multipurpose room or getting breakfast but they are there on campus. What we are saying is that, if the calendar is approved, instruction time will start earlier or last longer.”
“It will not be a big difference for most people. A few might have to leave home five minutes earlier,” Miller added. “It will not change the bus schedules. The buses are already there during the minutes that would have to be added.”
The five days left over with the calendar revision will be used as teacher work days and for staff development if the revised calendar is approved. This school year, five teacher work days were required to be used for Common Core training.
Miller noted that the revised calendar matches well with Sampson County Schools’ 2013-14 calendar. “If the board approves the 180 day calendar, it will be very similar to the already approved calendar of Sampson County Schools, especially the holidays and such.”
The new calendar was presented to the board for a first reading so no action was taken.
The board will meet again Tuesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at Butler Avenue Elementary School in the multipurpose room.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.