Academic Calendar Explanations
WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE CREATION OF THE ACADEMIC CALENDAR?
The current Teachers of the Year from each school (also known as the TOY Roundtable) work with District staff to develop at least two options of the Academic Calendar for consideration.
The options are presented to the Board of Trustees (BOT) which then directs district staff to make the options available for public input and feedback. A poll is created, and placed on the district’s website, www.ccsdschools.com, with links made available through CCSD’s social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter). The public will also be notified through the district’s notification system (phone calls) about the availability of the poll.
CCSD staff collects the results and feedback and presents that information to the BOT, which in turn will approve one option, or request another option be created to allow for more public input and feedback.
Once the BOT approves an option of the Academic Calendar, that decision is announced through the district’s notification system, the website, social media platforms, and local media outlets.
It is important to remember the South Carolina Department of Education makes the final approval for the Academic Calendar each year.
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR THE CREATION OF THE ACADEMIC CALENDAR?
Starting in September, the TOY Roundtable works on the Academic Calendar for the upcoming school year as part of their monthly meetings in the fall, then they submit their options to district leadership. The options of the Academic Calendar include the start and end dates, how long Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks last, when Spring Break occurs, dates for early release days, parent-teacher conferences, which days are used for Professional Development (PD), and assign the required weather make-up days.
Once the options are approved by district leaders, they are then presented to the BOT at the January or February Committee of the Whole Meeting. Following that presentation, the public’s opportunity for feedback and participation in a poll will last for up to two weeks.
The information will then be shared with the BOT at the next board meeting (that immediately follows the close of stakeholder input process), and either a decision will be reached, or district staff will be directed to create another option that will require public feedback.
The CCSD BOT will approve the Academic Calendar by the middle of March, and will direct the district to submit the calendar to the SCDOE for final approval. The final, approved version will also be posted on the district’s website.
The Office of Strategy and Communications will have the final calendar ready for staff and public use in July.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ACADEMIC CALENDAR?
CCSD believes that each and every instructional day matters, and will do everything it can to protect instruction. According to state law (S.C. Code of Laws Title 59 Education, Chapter 1 SECTION 59 1 425), academic calendars must:
-Have 190 days total
-Cover at least nine calendar months
-Not start before the third Monday in August (unless a state exemption is created and approved for a specific year)
-Use 180 days for instruction
-Use three days for PD
-Use the remaining seven days for teacher planning, academic plans, and parent conferences
In addition, districts must have three weather make-up days built into their academic calendars. If there is severe weather and the district is forced to close school, we are REQUIRED to use these built-in make-up days first (for instructional days). This is not an option, even if the governor calls for a mandatory evacuation due to an impending storm.
If inclement weather causes a district to cancel school for more than three instructional days (and the district has been forced to use all of its built-in make-up days), the Board of Trustees can then vote to forgive up to three additional days. If more than six days are lost to inclement weather, the state can forgive an additional five days.