School board approves 180-day calendar to keep work days
SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education approved a 180-day calendar for the next school year Monday, deciding against a 185-day version it had requested earlier.
But in order to fit in all 1,025 instructional hours required by state law, some elementary school schedules will have to be lengthened by about 15 minutes, said Colby Cochran, calendar committee facilitator.
He didn’t say which schools would need to make this change.
Cochran said the committee received feedback from teachers saying that they prefer staying with a 180-day calendar in 2013-14, which would allow for 14 teacher work days.
“With the 185-day calendar, we essentially would have to take five of those work days and turn them into school days,” he said.
That’s because the state won’t allow school systems to start classes any earlier than Aug. 26.
He mentioned a bill introduced into the General Assembly that would give school systems the flexibility to start school as early as Aug. 1.
“That would be effective in the 2013-14 school year, which would be next year,” Cochran said.
Board Member Chuck Hughes asked if there are cost savings with having 180 instructional days compared to 185.
“Yes, it would be $232,000 that those five additional school days would cost our school system in transportation costs and associated salary costs for substitutes and all that,” Cochran said.
With a 185-day calendar, the school system also would have to rely largely on Saturdays to make up for inclement weather days.
“Having the extra days to continue time for development and implementation of the core curriculum - that was a desperate need we identified this year,” said Board Chairman Richard Miller. “This calendar allows that.”
The calendar for the current school year includes eight work days and six system training days. Next year, there will be 14 work days and just two system training days.
The 2013-14 calendar approved by the board Monday also includes:
• Teacher work days Aug. 21-23, Oct. 28, Jan. 21-22, Feb. 14, Feb. 17, March 28 and June 12
• Optional teacher work days Dec. 20 and June 13
• Staff development days Aug. 19-20
• Early release days Nov. 8 and March 27
• Thanksgiving break from Nov. 27 through Nov. 29
• Winter break from Dec. 20 through Jan. 1
• Spring break from April 18 through April 25
• Last day of school June 11Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.