2013-14 school calendar to be set Tuesday

rheaton@islandpacket.comNovember 17, 2012 

  • Approved the drafting of a message to local legislators asking them to change state law to freeze salaries of school district employees who are on improvement plans due to performance issues. Currently those employees receive state-mandated raises like all other district employees.

  • Heard an update on the independent audit of the 2011-12 fiscal year. The full audit is expected to be completed in December.

  • Heard an annual report on student discipline and the activities of the student services department.

The date of the last day of school for the 2013-14 year is still up for debate.

The Board of Education decided after a lengthy discussion at its work session Saturday to delay a vote on the school year calendar until its Tuesday meeting.

The two proposed calendars have the same first day of school: Aug. 19. But students' last day of school and the length of Thanksgiving and winter breaks differ.

In one proposal, students will have Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off the week of Thanksgiving. They will return to school after winter break on Jan. 2. Under that calendar, the last day of school is May 29, 2014.

Under the second proposal, students would have the full week of Thanksgiving off and two full weeks of winter break, returning to school Jan. 6. The plan would extend the school year until June 5, 2014.

Unlike this school year, there will be no weeklong fall break. Spring break -- April 14-18-- will once again be the same across the county.

No one calendar has drawn a consensus of current board members, new board members who were invited to weigh in during the work session, or parents and school staff, according to district surveys.

Dereck Rhoads, district instructional services chief, said he saw a benefit to the calendar ending in May because four more school days would be in place before standardized testing starts in the spring.

Some worried that not having a full week off for Thanksgiving could mean higher absentee rates on the Monday and Tuesday of that week and less productive school days due to the shortened week.

Since no consensus was reached, board chairman Fred Washington Jr. proposed moving the calendar vote to the board's regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting. More board members are expected to attend that meeting -- only seven of 11 members attended Saturday's work session. Board members Julie Bell, Ron Speaks, Steven Morello and Wayne Carbiener were absent.

Washington encouraged more community input on the calendars, which can be viewed on the district's website -- www.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Comments can be emailed to communitycomments@beaufort.k12.sc.us.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Beaufort County Council chambers at 100 Ribaut Road, Beaufort.

Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.

Related content:

Proposed 2013-14 school year calendars

Board of Education discusses academic calendar; Nov. 6, 2012

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