Suggestions sought for school calendar

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


Wilson County Schools is asking for feedback as it begins work on developing the 2019-20 traditional school calendar.

Notice was sent out on the school system’s Facebook page and website.

In a screencast video, Cheryl Wilson, Wilson County Schools associate superintendent, speaks directly to the public. “We would like your input prior to taking the options to the board,” Wilson said, before sharing information on the North Carolina legislation for school calendars, guidelines for holidays, two calendar options and how to forward input to the school district.

“We look forward to hearing your feedback about the best instructional calendar for our students.” Wilson said.

According to the school calendar law in North Carolina, the calendar must consist of 215 days, must have “a minimum of 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction covering at least nine calendar months.” Part of each school calendar must be “a plan for making up days and instructional hours missed when schools are not opened due to inclement weather.”

Calendars must include a minimum of 10 annual vacation leave days.

“Local boards may designate any additional makeup days to be scheduled after the last day of student attendance. Local boards shall designate at least two days on which teachers may take annual vacation leave,” Wilson said, reading from the law. “The calendar must include 42 consecutive days where teacher attendance is not required. School shall not be held on Sunday, and Veterans Day shall be considered a holiday. The opening date for students shall be no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26, and closing date for students shall be no later than the Friday closest to June 11.”

Wilson points out two other requirements for school calendars.

“There are no educational purpose waivers for exemption of the opening and/or closing dates,” Wilson said. “All schools within the district must be closed all day for the purpose of determining eligibility for a weather-related waiver (delayed starts or early dismissals of two or more hours no longer apply).

Holidays to be considered in 2019 include Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2; Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11; Thanksgiving, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28-29; Christmas, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 24, 25 and 26; and in 2020, New Year’s Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1; Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday Jan. 20; Good Friday, April 10; and Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.

Wilson points out that statutory provisions in the state personnel manual “shall not provide for more than 11 paid holidays per year except that in those years in which Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, then there will be no more than 12 paid holidays.”

In a second screencast video, Wilson goes over calendar drafts, detailing color coding, use of monthly tables and abbreviations for student days, optional workdays, mandatory workdays, holidays and annual leave days.

“It is important that we count hours in Wilson County Schools,” Wilson said. “Six hours is equivalent to a full day. Four hours is counted for an early release day.”

Option 1’s first semester is Aug. 26 through Jan 16. Second semester is Jan. 21 though June 5.

Option 2’s first semester is Aug. 26 through Dec. 20. Second semester is Jan. 6 through June 3.

Parents, teachers or students can access the 2019-20 traditional calendar discussion and give feedback by going to wilsoncountyschoolsnc.net.

The deadline is Jan. 25.