Advance planners, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools calendar for 2017-18 is ready for perusal.
The school board Tuesday approved a plan that won the approval of a solid majority of parents, students and employees – with a small revision to make sure students don’t attend school on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
An online poll that drew almost 6,500 responses asked participants to choose between two options. The most popular one offered two more days of winter break, something that’s consistently identified as a top priority.
The calendar for most CMS schools runs from Aug. 28, 2017, to June 8, 2018 (a few schools have alternative schedules). It includes 176 days of class time for students, down from 185 in 2012-13 and 180 this year. The 2016-17 school year will be the first time CMS tries a 176-day schedule.
State law requires a minimum of 185 student days or 1,025 hours of instructional time. It also constrains how early districts can open and how late they can end the school year, and CMS officials say that’s the driving force behind the shrinking calendar.
By ensuring that students get at least six hours of instruction a day, CMS can meet the law at 176 days and still have some room to avoid snow makeup days, said Angie Bartles, a CMS administrator who co-chairs the district’s calendar committee. However, the number of makeup days that can be waived will fall from four to three, she said.
Early dismissal days for students, which debuted this year, will continue in 2017-18 even though they haven’t yet been placed on the calendar, Bartles said. The time after students leave is used for professional development for teachers.