Richmond County parents, students, educators, and other citizens can now access calendars for the 2012-13 school year from the Richmond County Schools website, to begin planning for next school year.
This comes after the State Board of Education approved a waiver, for the second year in a row, of five additional days that were added to the school year by the NC General Assembly. Richmond County Schools will use these five days as required training days for teachers and staff.
A draft calendar was posted online during the month of February along with a forum for comments from the general public. Many expressed their concerns with some of the days, most of which the school system could not change, because of the state legal requirements.
“State law requires that students begin school no earlier that August 25, and end by June 10,” Dr. George Norris, superintendent of schools said. “This year was particularly challenging to plan for, because the 25th falls on Saturday, meaning the earliest we could begin school was August 27. We still had to end school by June 10.”
June 10 will fall on a Monday in 2013, and the last day of school will be on that day. School calendar law also has a number of other requirements regarding holidays, annual leave days, and teacher workdays that must also be met within the August 25 to June 10 window. The law provides very little flexibility for school districts to schedule school days. Norris hopes state lawmakers will give flexibility on school calendars back to school districts.
“We are hoping that the General Assembly will take a hard look at the calendar law, and the challenge it creates for school districts,” Norris said. “If the law is reversed, we could look at starting school early for all of our students during the following school year. We would want to give parents and employees as much notice as possible to plan for the change.”
The Richmond Early College High School calendar follows the Richmond Community College calendar, since the school operates on the campus of the college.
The 2012-13 Calendars for Richmond County Schools and Richmond Early College High can now be downloaded from the RCS District homepage at www.richmond.k12.nc.us. Copies will also be placed in all of the school front offices.