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New Hanover County Schools Calendar Committee Proposes Changes to the 2020-2021 School Calendar


 
At the November 5, 2019 Board of Education meeting, the New Hanover County Schools Calendar Committee will present a calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. This year the calendar presented will look different than the ones that we have seen for the past fifteen years. The committee, led by Board Member Nelson Beaulieu and Deputy Superintendent Dr. LaChawn Smith, has proposed a calendar that allows for the school year to start two weeks earlier in August and end prior to Memorial Day Weekend. There are multiple factors that are behind the call for a change in the district’s calendar:
 
  • Strong support by teachers who believe this represents a better instructional model for students, to complete exams prior to the winter holiday break, which would enable students to spend their break time focusing on family, interests, and renewal;
  • Allows for the inclusion of an intercession for all students in January prior to the beginning of the second semester;
  • December high school graduates will be able to start college in January;
  • Teachers can have training days during the semester without having to use substitutes to cover classes; 
  • It provides flexibility for inclement weather makeup days;
  • Schedule aligns with the community college and university calendars to promote and support dual enrollment, thereby reducing college debt and promoting on-time or early graduation with college credits and possible sophomore status;
  • Students who work during the summer would be able to begin summer jobs at the end of May;
  • Allows for families with students across several grade levels to share the same calendar;
  • It allows for additional flexibility to create natural breaks rather than forced breaks due to current calendar limitations. 
 
Currently, there is a scheduled automated phone survey that will go out to parents and district employees at 7:15 p.m. this evening that will allow for public input. The link provided will also allow for input, https://forms.gle/7rAB6JdVj6tDLzYCA. A draft of the proposed calendar changes being recommended to the Board of Education at the November 5, 2019 meeting is available on the district’s website https://www.nhcs.net/about-us/calendar.