CMS alters 2014-15 calendar to protect spring break

Parents of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students can make spring break plans for next year with certainty.

The school system has approved changes in its 2014-15 academic calendar that will protect spring break from being used as winter weather makeup days. The changes were approved by the school board Tuesday night.

There are no changes in the basic calendar and the scheduled days off. What has changed are the dates of makeup days.

The change comes after CMS lost several days in January and February to bad weather. Initially, the school system planned to use part of spring break to make up the days. State law requires public school students to have 185 school days or 1,025 instructional hours.

CMS was able to maintain the scheduled full week of spring break because students had enough classroom hours to meet the 1,025-hour requirement.

“After what happened this year and what we had to do to protect spring break, we made changes in the makeup days for next year,” said Tahira Stalberte, a spokeswoman for CMS.

The original calendar for 2014-15, approved a year ago, had eight dates designated as makeup days, but five of those were during spring break, which will be April 6-10 in 2015.

“What we have done is to use other dates after Jan. 1 as makeup days,” Stalberte said.

Those include Feb. 13 and 16 and March 12 and 13, all of which are scheduled as teacher workdays. They are listed third through sixth on the priority list of makeup days. First on the list is Oct. 31, but CMS rarely loses days to bad weather before winter (a notable exception being after Hurricane Hugo in 1989).

With the changes, none of the spring break days in 2015 are included as potential makeup days.