Year-round calendar approved for four CMS schools
Posted on 23 Jan 2013 by Justin Ruckman
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board unanimously approved year-round calendars for four schools Tuesday, launching plans to start their 2013–14 school year in July.
“The work starts now,” Denise Watts, Project LIFT zone superintendent, said in an interview. “This is a lifestyle change for teachers. This is a lifestyle change for families.”
The year-round calendars affect four preK-8 schools that are part of Project LIFT (for Leadership and Investment for Transformation), a public-private partnership to boost achievement at West Charlotte High and its eight feeder schools. Donors have pledged $55 million over the next five years; that will cover the $2.1 million cost of adding 19 school days at Druid Hills and Thomasboro.
The other two schools, Bruns and Byers, will spend 180 days in school like other students, but will have their breaks spread out to reduce the loss of academic skills during the summer. The year-round calendars affect about 2,700 students in the four schools.
Meanwhile, students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s other 155 schools will see a longer winter break next year under a revised 2013–14 calendar. The calendar approved last spring had 185 days of class for students, meeting a mandate from state legislators. But lawmakers later revised the law to allow districts to return to the current 180 days, as long as students attend at least 1,025 hours.
Leaders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools say using the five days for teacher preparation will actually serve students better and give more options for bad-weather makeup days. But they acknowledge that what people get most excited about is the prospect of having two full weeks off at Christmas.