New Hanover County Schools discuss possibilities for 2020-21 calendar

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Schools Calendar Committee discussed a few possibilities for the 2020-2021 school year on Thursday afternoon.

For traditional students, the committee mentioned adding 5 to 10 minutes to each school day to allow for flexibility when severe weather hits.

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Ending the first semester before winter break rather than after was also discussed.

With the pandemic still looming, it seems the committee is planning for a normal school year for students on the traditional schedule as of right now.

“We’re going off guidance we get from the state so I don’t want to predict what the situation is going to look like regarding the pandemic in August,” Committee Chairman Nelson Beaulieu said. “But we definitely hope to have our students back in the building as soon as it’s safe to do so.”



But year-round students might be seeing a change in what their year will look like.

The start date for year-round is scheduled for July 15 at this time, but the committee understands many parents may not be comfortable sending their children back to school so soon.

So the committee is planning a “Town Hall” with parents to get their input.

We’ll really be discussing is an option to start sometime in August and sort of look at that calendar, keep it year-round, or to go to a traditional calendar for one year,” Beaulieu said.

Codington and Eaton Elementary operate on a modified year-round calendar.

If parents decide to switch to the traditional schedule for the year, they will not be able to switch back to the modified calendar.

This is because a change would end the grandfathering they received from the state’s school calendar law.

Instead, the schools would move to a traditional year-round schedule.

The General Assembly of North Carolina Senate Bill 704 defines year-round schools in Section 2.1(6).

“Year-round school. – A school with a single or multi-track instructional
calendar that provides instructional days in compliance with Section
2.11(b)(1) of this Part throughout the entire school calendar year, beginning
July 1 and ending June 30, by utilizing at least one of the following plans:
a. A plan dividing students into four groups and requiring each group to
be in school for assigned and staggered quarters each school calendar
year.
b. A plan providing students be scheduled to attend 45 instructional days
followed by 15 days of vacation, repeated throughout the school
calendar year.
c. A plan dividing the school calendar year into five nine-week sessions
of classes and requiring each student to attend four assigned and
staggered sessions out of the five nine-week sessions to complete the
student’s instructional year”

The ‘Town Hall’ meeting is expected to be scheduled next week.