By Ann Doss Helms
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is trying to learn from its mistakes: After scrambling to avoid cutting into this year's spring break with snow makeup days, the school board will be asked today to alter the 2009-10 calendar to avoid a similar problem.
CMS approves calendars two years in advance to help families plan. The current 2009-10 calendar has four spring-break days tagged as makeup days.
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The district used a similar approach for 2008-09. But when snow closed school for two days in February and March, school officials had a change of heart. Worrying that families and employees had already locked in vacation plans and might skip the spring-break makeups, they made last-minute calendar changes. Some families complained about the confusion, as well as the decision to hold school on Memorial Day.
The revised 2009-10 calendar, which will be up for a vote today, eliminates an October teacher work day and carves two days off winter break. It adds three teacher work days in February and March, which can be used as makeups.
Memorial Day remains a holiday.
Also today, the board will look at two options for 2010-11 calendars. The biggest difference: One sets spring break as the first week in April and the other as the third week in April. CMS will post those options for feedback from the public starting Wednesday; the board will vote on a 2010-11 calendar in May.