Rowan-Salisbury school board irons out calendar

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education formally approved a calendar for the upcoming school year during its retreat event at the central office on Monday.

“The biggest difference between this calendar and last year is the early release days,” said Dr. Kelly Withers, the RSS director of schools.

The approved calendar resulted from a months-long process that began with a committee of volunteers, which sought representation from each school.

The group used survey data and worked in groups to build possible calendars. Initially, the process narrowed the choice down to two calendars. However, after feedback from the community, parents and teachers, the body opted to create another possible calendar (Draft 3) that aligned with the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

“Draft 3 was the most similar to our current calendar,” Withers said.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools Director of Accountability Damien Akelman explained on Monday that the calendar he presented would offer consistent early release days for performance development.

School board member Brian Hightower remarked that taking care of teachers should be a focus of the calendar.

“We have to make teaching a better profession than it is now,” Hightower said.

Employee feedback for the calendar that was ultimately approved indicated approval of early release days but also reflected opposition to the lack of workdays at the beginning of the year.

Students approved of the new calendar’s pre-Memorial Day completion and the early release days. Parental and community feedback pointed to longer breaks as a benefit of the new calendar and approval of the early release days and the early start in August.