Draft 2020-2021 Traditional School Calendar
For the first time, Davidson County Schools has qualified for a calendar waiver which will allow the 2020-2021 school year to begin one week early. We will also be eligible for this waiver for the 2021-2022 school year. We are unable to determine our eligibility for the 2022-2023 calendar waiver until we collect inclement weather data for future years.
The twenty-four member 2020-2021 School Calendar Committee carefully considered the pros and cons of starting school one week early. The following criteria supported their decision to have an earlier start date:
- DCS test data from previous years shows that when high school EOCs were held before the holiday break, student scores were higher. There was a dip in scores when high school EOCs were moved after the break.
- An early school start allows more school days prior to the Labor Day holiday so it spreads out the breaks/work days in the first quarter more evenly.
- An early start will allow better alignment with the Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy calendar and that will give students at that school additional days of bus transportation.
- If exams take place prior to Christmas, there is no pause in instructional time and students will retain more information.
- If exams take place prior to Christmas, our students who take college classes or graduate early can be better aligned with second semester college courses.
- If exams take place prior to Christmas, the need for two additional work days/days off in mid-January are not needed so when students return to school after the holiday break, this will allow for more continuous instructional time.
- Over the past few years, there has been a lot of state-wide support among school systems for legislative changes to allow more school calendar flexibility. Starting one week early would give DCS good statistical and operational data to see how this incremental adjustment affects all aspects of our system.
- Although there is a difference in the number of days in the first semester and the second semester, inclement weather and waived days are more likely to occur in the second semester so the imbalance may improve.
Our school calendar must meet certain requirements as outlined in School Board Policy 2.7 as well as State-level requirements. Additional information and other calendar resources can be found at http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/fbs/accounting/calendar.
If you would like to express questions or concerns, you may do so on the online 2020-2021 Calendar Survey. Survey responses must be submitted online by Thursday, November 21.
During the Board of Education meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 2, a public hearing on the proposed calendar will take place to allow stakeholders to express any concerns or comments. Please check the DCS website to confirm the meeting location.