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Board Seeks Public Comment on Modifications to 2020-21 Traditional Academic Calendar

 

May 28, 2020 Public school students across North Carolina will return to school on August 17, 2020, as directed in Senate Bill 704 earlier this month. The Guilford County Board of Education today submitted for public comment a modified traditional academic calendar to fulfill the mandate. View the proposed calendar revisions here.

The revised calendar is based on the one approved more than one year ago by the board. The changes were minimized as much as possible to stay true to the original calendar while still meeting the new legal requirements.

Under the proposed calendar, the academic year will begin on August 17, 2020 and end on June 3, 2021. The number of in-person student days increased by five, as required by the new state law. Winter break remains unchanged; spring break would be reduced from seven days to six.

The district also identified six teacher workdays as remote learning days for students. Five were mandated by the state; one inclement weather day was converted to a remote learning day. Per the new state law, remote learning cannot occur during the first week of school.

Three of the remote learning dates occur during the school year; three are scheduled after the last day of school (June 3) and would only be used if needed to meet state mandates regarding student instructional hours and days.

The remote learning dates are tentatively planned for Oct. 26, 2020, Jan. 19, 2021, Feb. 15, 2021, and June 4, 7 and 8, 2021. Districts are required to submit their remote learning plans to the Department of Public Instruction by July 20, 2020.

Remote learning days will not include live, virtual instruction, so teachers may participate in professional learning. The longer calendar now includes 182 student days; teacher days remain the same as in previous years at 215.

Remote learning days will also serve as the make-up days for inclement weather. Per the new state law, the district must submit a plan for remote instruction for the 2020-2021 school year by July 20, 2020.

In addition to aligning the district’s calendar to changes in state law, the longer calendar could help offset the learning loss that is expected from the COVID-19 school closures that began in March, although experts expect the impact to be far more challenging to overcome. For more information about the new calendar requirements, click here.

Public comments will be accepted through close of business on Monday, June 8, and the board will vote on it during the meeting on Tuesday, June 9. To share feedback, email gcscomments@gcsnc.com. Feedback may also be sent by U.S. mail to Calendar Comments, Guilford County Schools, 712 N. Eugene St., Greensboro, NC 27401.  

The proposed revisions were shared with the district’s calendar committee for their review and feedback prior to the board’s discussion today.

Any calendar changes to the district’s early and middle college are pending changes made by the schools’ host colleges and universities.

District administration did recommend changes to the extended year calendars, however, citing the inability to prepare buildings in accordance with health and safe student guidelines in advance of the mandated August 17 start date for North Carolina public schools.

As a result, administration asked the school board to place a one-year moratorium on the 20-day extended year calendars for Allen Jay Prep, Brooks Global Studies, Johnston Street Global Studies and Washington Montessori. If approved by the school board, these four schools would follow the traditional academic calendar.