Friday , 26 May 2017
Breaking News

Take the NCGA’s Survey on School Calendar Law, Closing Sunday at 5:00p.m.

The Johnny Mercer pier at Wrightsville Beach, NC on July 2, 2015 is normally crowded with thousands of vacationers. The school calendar law was passed with the support of the tourism industry, which was worried about how schools were shortening summer break.

The Johnny Mercer pier at Wrightsville Beach, NC is pictured above.  The school calendar law was passed with the support of the tourism industry, which was worried about how schools were shortening summer break.

Would you like to let the state legislators know what you think about the state’s school calendar laws?  Now, you can — but only until Sunday at 5:00pm.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division is studying “how limitations on school calendar flexibility” are and have impacted schools in the state over the past decade.  Click here to learn more about the study, and click here to see the calendar law.

A survey was released on Friday afternoon by the Legislature, and the NC General Assembly is closing it for responses on Sunday at 5:00p.m.  As parents and stakeholders affected by changes made to the school calendar on the state level, it is very important for you to make your voice heard during this very short window.

The deadline for completing the anonymous survey, which can taken at http://bit.ly/2cUKlg6, is 5 p.m. Sunday.  Please share this with as many families as you are able.

For more information, please read this excerpt from The News and Observer’s article published here yesterday afternoon on the survey.

“The General Assembly passed the calendar law in 2004 at the urging of the tourism industry and some parents who were concerned how school districts were shortening summer break. Some school districts were starting traditional-calendar classes in the first week of August.

The law says schools can start no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26 and end date no later than the Friday closest to June 11. Charter schools and year-round schools are exempted from the law.

Tourism officials have pointed to studies showing starting school in late August produces as much as $1 billion each year in economic growth through increased tourism-related sales.

Ever since the law was passed, school districts have been trying to get it modified or eliminated. School officials have complained that the lack of flexibility leads to problems such as high school students having to wait until after winter break to take final exams.

The new survey asks a variety of questions, including:

▪ Do you prefer fewer or more breaks during the year?

▪ When do you prefer to take summer vacation?

▪ How important is it for you have fall exams before winter break?

▪ How important is it to have the option to choose a year-round school schedule?

▪ Should state law or local school districts determine the start date for schools?

▪ When do you think public schools in North Carolina should start? Choices range from the first week of August to after Labor Day.

Whether the Program Evaluation Division’s final report will lead to recommendations on changing the school calendar law remains to be seen.”

About James Frye

James Frye (@mrjamesfrye) serves as Instructional Technology Facilitator and Public Information Officer for Newton-Conover City Schools. Formerly, he was an English and Journalism Teacher at Newton-Conover High School and a Blended/Virtual English Teacher. He is a NC Teaching Fellow and studied education abroad at the Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal in Germany. James holds an M.A. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Technology from Michigan State University, and a B.A. in English/Education from Lenoir-Rhyne University, where he serves as an Adjunct Professor. In addition to modeling technological and leadership innovation and leading various professional learning, he also serves statewide on the NC Digital Learning Initiative Advisory Board, the NC Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Board of Directors, the #NCed Leadership Team, and is co-founder of Edcamp WNC. He is a member of the NC Digital Leadership Coaches’ Network, and was named an international Emerging Leader by ASCD. He resides in Hickory with his wife and their baby girl.

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