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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Students in Pender County may be heading back to class early next school year. High schools starting the first week of August is one option under a proposed school calendar waiver. Both parents and teachers say they like the idea.

“School is for them,” said Cheryl Cain, mother of two high school students. “It’s not for parents. It’s not for tourism. It’s about what is the best for the kids. How are we going to make them productive citizens in the community?”

Parents say an early start to the school year would be an adjustment but they think it’s one worth making.

“Giving them the opportunity to go to college without leaving school should be something that they have,” said Cain.

The new schedule means high school students would start the school year August 6th, lining up with the class schedule at CFCC, allowing students to earn college credits. Teachers say there are other benefits to the modified schedule.

“It works because students take their final courses before they leave for Christmas vacation so they are not left to their own devices for two weeks to try to student, to try to learn,” said 9th grade English teacher Antoinette Melvin. “They can’t get in touch with their teachers.”

Teachers say the new schedule would provide a fresh start for their students. They also agree that the new schedule would make up for some serious cuts to education.

“Our kids, with the cutbacks we’ve been having, have been missing out on opportunities that I had when I was in high school that are really unfortunate,” said Melvin.

Tuesday night was the first of three public hearings the Pender County School Board is hosting to get feedback from the community before they vote on the schedule. Parents of students in the county are urged to attend the hearings. The next meeting is at Topsail High School next Tuesday at 6 pm.

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6 Comments on "Parents and teachers agree new schedule would be “fresh start”"

2015 years 10 months ago

The Pender Board of Education has made it known that they are anti-tourism even though the major part of their budget comes from the eastern part of Pender County. The county finances are not strong enough in this economy to justify add extra transportation cost, busing students from 3 High Schools to CFCC North Campus plus running the bus 3 weeks early for High School Students when the program is only open to Jr & Sr. One of the area that will be looked at for cuts is sports travel, so coach you may not have to worry about fielding teams and getting players to school early you may not have anywhere to go play. People need to attend these meetings, look at the cost, look at how few students will benefit from this program, and understand that even though it is promoted as free realize that nothing in life is free someone will pay for this program the Community College Instructors don’t volunteer their time, the book company doesn’t donate books and diesel for a fleet of buses doesn’t some from a back yard well. The added expense for child care for some families in these times will be unbearable. This is your tax rate both local and state that will pay for this program.

2015 years 10 months ago

The number of students that you think it affects is only the number that HAVE been attending college courses. This new plan opens it up to many, many more. As a teacher in the county and at a high school, and as a parent with an elementary aged child, this is great! There will be struggles, and there will be added expenses (although not all that have been mentioned here), but it is worth it in the long run if it benefits those students. Even if it only adds five more to the list! FYI there will be no extra cost of adding teachers! And the cost of cooling the school will not be much more either – we already attend school in August (teachers and staff go back a week early).

Those screaming for a “traditional” schedule don’t know what one is. Pender County has not been on a traditional schedule in the four years that I have been teaching. You want a traditional schedule – push for on that starts after Labor Day and gets out the middle of June. This is a “traditional” schedule.

However, we are again showing how selfish we truly are in society. And yes… we do need to compete on a global level now (which includes Japan).

2015 years 10 months ago

If you want to get fired up over who is footing the bill for things, why don’t you get upset over the wasteful spending in the county. For instance, check out some of the BOE minutes. You will notice that at the last minute, they voted for a pay raise for themselves as well as laptops and paid internet service at their homes. They did this during a time when no teacher has had a pay raise in four years, classrooms are overcrowded, and basic supplies are dwindling. This idea is at least beneficial. If you don’t agree with that, then you truly are not for the future of our children.

2015 years 10 months ago

Parents need to understand that this ONLY applies to the high school schedule which means parents with kids in high school and middle/elem. schools will have to deal with two school schedules. School breaks and holidays may not be the same. Also, according to the article I read (Topsail Voice), this will only benefit about 260 students throughout the county which begs the question why change for a small percentage of the student population?

2015 years 10 months ago

I don’t have a child in school any longer, but I don’t agree with this. I think the kids and teachers need a break from the school year. I can see why kids are burned out after about 7th grade. The homework is overwhelming and it is a constant barrage of do this, do this.

Who are we trying to keep up with? Japan? Their kids go to school 6 days a week, 12 hour days. Is that what we want for our kids? What happened to childhood?

With budget cuts like they are, this seems to me that there will be added expense – electricity, gas, and other things to be considered. You will be sending kids to school on buses in the hottest part of summer – what about the added cost of teachers and bus drivers? Is this financially smart?

2015 years 10 months ago

This is A WONDERFUL idea!!! They will still get a break just not as long this year, next year will be better once they get the schedule changed. They will get out in May instead of June, its wonderful. I have a child in HS already and its too much for these kids to get christmas break and then come back to take semester tests, at least with this schedule they will take semester tests before x-mas break while still fresh in heads. Not to mention those that are taking colege credit classes will be on same schedule. My daughter this year by the time semester tests were done at end of January and they started next semester, the college was already 2 weeks into the schedule and she had to make up 2 weeks of work to catch up to her college class that started at beginning of January. They are offering children amazing things now to take college credit classes, so it will only help them if they are on the same schedule!!!


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