Proposed school calendar changes worries a local business owner

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Some hospitality and retail businesses on the coast are concerned their pockets may take a hard hit, if the New Hanover County School calendar changes.

So, a few met today to discuss the proposed change and how it could impact them.

Blockade Runner Owner Mary Baggett hosted the discussion.

“We just feel it is really essential to make people aware that it would basically be the elimination of the month of August,” Baggett said.

She is referring to the loss of tourism business that may include students, teachers and staff. The calendar committee has proposed a calendar that starts school two weeks earlier in August.

“We have been in operation here for 56 years and we have numbers going back since then,” Baggett said. “1997 to 2004…the school system was starting school earlier and earlier every year.”

Baggett says she wasn’t a fan then and is not a fan now.

She says North Carolinians head to the coast in August to cool down, when temperatures heat up. This calendar change could lead to unwanted impacts like losing full-time students employees during August.

“And our tourism in this area is 85% North Carolinians visiting Wrightsville Beach so it’s very important to us to maintain August and be able to accommodate the school calendar with different ways of approaching it,” Baggett said.

But, the calendar committee is confident this change will allow opportunities like dual enrollment with community colleges and universities. However, Baggett says not shifting the start will be better.

“Cause college is a whole different environment than high school and so that gives them that two week period basically to get their feet on the ground in that environment before they go back to their regular school year with their peers,” Baggett said.

The New Hanover County Board of Education will meet January 7th to discuss and vote on this proposed calendar.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News

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