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School district wants input on 2012-13 calendar

Posted: October 14, 2011 5:33 p.m.
Updated: October 19, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District wants your help.

The KCSD 2012-13 calendar committee is asking community members and parents for their input on two draft calendars that will be voted on and implemented for the next school year.

“Several years ago, the district implemented a committee that would take input and put together calendar drafts to share with the community, and we found that to be very beneficial. Sometimes someone will have an idea that maybe we wouldn’t have thought of that we could incorporate for the good of all of the children,” said KCSD Director for Communications Mary Anne Byrd. “Right now we have these calendar drafts so that we can also hear back from parents and community as to what they do like and what they would rather have the new school year.”

However, Byrd said several state laws dictate what they “can and can’t do” regarding school district calendars. For example, students cannot start school before August 20.

Additional “calendar issues” that must be included in the calendar are: 180 instructional days for students; 190 employment days for teachers, including 10 teacher days of which at least five must be professional development days; four quarters with 45 instructional days; and HSAP, PASS End of Course exams and district required testing days.

Furthermore, the calendar will have to include at least three weather days, and include holidays for Election Day, Labor Day, two days for Thanksgiving, 10 days for Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and five days for spring break.

Calendar Draft A -- which will begin on August 20 and end on June 7 -- has a midweek start, a long weekend between semesters and a holiday on Memorial Day. The calendar also has two separate weather days which would not involve having to reschedule professional development or records days if used for inclement weather.

Calendar Draft B -- which will begin August 20 and end on May 31 -- has a full week start, an additional professional development day before school starts and the last day of school in May.

Neither calendars include any early dismissal days for common planning.

Traditionally, KCSD has also held Parents Day at the end of the first quarter and graduation on a Records Day so that staff members are available to supervise.

High schools usually request two teacher days between semesters for scheduling changes and records. Also, teacher days when students do not attend have usually been scheduled for Mondays (first semester) and Mondays or Fridays (second semester) to allow parents the convenience of a long weekend.

Those who wish to provide feedback on the draft calendars are asked to send their comments -- including whether or not early dismissal days should be included in the calendar -- via a link on the school district’s website, which also includes copies of the calendars, or email maryanne.byrd@kcsdschools.net by Friday, October 28.

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