Rowan-Salisbury Schools taking survey on top two school calendar options

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2018

By Maggie Blackwell

For the Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools is asking parents and other residents to vote one more time on the choice of school calendar options for 2019-20 year — but to do it quickly.

The last day to vote is Sunday.

The survey can be found on the school system’s home page,, right after the “pop out” for the capital consolidation plan is cleared.

Response to the initial survey a couple of weeks ago came in record numbers. RSS Compliance Director Alesia Burnette says while in earlier years respondents numbered in the hundreds, 3,530 people responded to this year’s survey.

The results of the survey showed Option A to be the most popular option with 1,595 votes, or 45 percent.

Option C was in second place with 1,264 votes, or 36 percent, and Option B was last with 671 votes, or 19 percent.

Burnette presented the results of the initial survey at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night. She asked school board members to vote on a choice.

But several teachers from South Rowan High School spoke during the public-comment period and asked the board to consider holding a second survey between the two top choices, A and C, since the margin between them is less than 10 percent.

The board asked Burnette to take a second survey.

Burnette said the direction from the board to the calendar committee earlier this year had three major points:

• Start the school early in the year.

• End first semester before Christmas break.

• End the school year in May.

She says each of the three calendar options fulfilled these directives.

Option B, the calendar choice in last place in the survey, may have fallen there because of spring break not being close to Easter, Burnette said.

The two options available now are similar for five months of the school year, Burnette said, with one of the options offering fall and spring “track out” weeks and the other holding to a more traditional model.

Under Option A, the first day for students is Aug. 7 and the last day, May 21. Under Option C, the first day for students is Aug. 1, and the last day, May 22.

Both options schedule spring break with Easter. Option A schedules the break the week before Easter; Option C schedules it the week after.

In both Options A and C, the first semester ends before the winter break; high school students complete exams before the break; and students finish school before Memorial Day.

Option C includes “track out days” when schools are closed for students and staff. Staff members would not be on the payroll on these days, so pay adjustments would have to be worked out.

Anyone in Rowan County can vote, and the deadline is Sunday.

Burnette will present the results of this second survey to the Board of Education at its meeting at 4 p.m. Dec. 10.