Committee proposing academic calendar ending before Memorial Day

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — For months, we’ve been talking about how some students could be changing schools starting next year with redistricting, but, before the school board decides on that, they must decide on a new calendar. New Hanover County Schools could be changing it’s calendar to align with the community college and university system.

“Students are first and I think this is the best thing for them,” Nelson Beaulieu, a calendar committee member, said.

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He says, under the proposed calendar, school would start two weeks earlier and end on the Thursday before Memorial day.

“So, it’s got a teacher work day at the very beginning of June and a teacher work day at the end of July so it meets the legal qualifications for a year round calendar, but it doesn’t take away that summer break that our parents and students really need,” Beaulieu said.

Beaulieu says this could open up dual enrollment pathways for some of the high school students.



“School will that two weeks earlier and end two weeks earlier, but, most importantly, our students will be able to take their exams before the Christmas break so they won’t have those hanging over their heads,” Beaulieu said. “They’re going to have a nice Christmas break where they can really reset and refocus.”

Beaulieu says the proposal is keeping the students best interest first. But, one parent says this shift could pose a challenge to her family.

“During the summer, we know we can do summer camps,” Debbie Gauzza said. “There is even summer camps and cousins that are her age that are from different states where she’ll go and hang out with and do beach trips with because they’re on the same traditional school calendar year.”

Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Kim Hufham says this shift can impact the pockets of teachers and students who pick up seasonal summer jobs.

“Many of them and their families are dependent on that summer income,” Hufham said. “Some of the students are saving for college and others are looking to subsidize their families income during the summer.”

But, Bealieu says, last year, August was the third highest ranked month for tourism in the summer, so this plan won’t impact July or June for students.

“I think it’s great that we’re having the conversation,” Gauzza said.

The calendar committee will present the proposed calendar to the school board on November 4th.