Creating the school calendar is similar to solving a puzzle with lots of different pieces and a set of rules about where the pieces must fit. The pieces are school days, teacher workdays, annual leave days and holidays; the rules are policies set by the North Carolina State Legislature, North Carolina Board of Education and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.
A committee of parents, teachers, principals, administrators and community members will recommend two proposed calendars for the 2014-2015 school year that meet the following requirements and laws:
In July 2012, the North Carolina General Assembly amended the statute that governs school calendars. The new law, which goes into effect in the 2013-14 school year, gives districts more flexibility with start and end dates and also mandates 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction. The amended law also gives CMS the opportunity to improve the calendar by providing more teacher workdays for professional development and more options severe weather make-up days.
215 Total Days: The entire school calendar is 215 days. These days are divided among school days, teacher workdays, annual leave days and holidays.
185 Total Days or 1,025 hours of instruction: There must be 185 instructional or student days or 1025 instructional hours, which may start no sooner than the Monday closest to August 26 and end no later than the Friday closest to June 11.
14 Teacher Workdays: There must be 14 teacher workdays.
10/11 Holidays: Veterans' Day must be a holiday; the others are discretionary.
10 Annual Leave Days: CMS must schedule 10 annual leave (vacation) days for teachers.
Other Considerations: The calendar committee must also recognize the need for the semesters to be evenly divided. as possible. Breaks are scheduled so that teachers and students have consecutive days off in the winter and spring. Most importantly, while meeting all these parameters, the committee recommends two calendars that have an academic focus so that students and teachers are in school for unbroken periods of instruction time.
After the Calendar Committee recommends two calendars, employees and community members will have an opportunity to indicate their preference in an online poll.
The poll results and recommendations are given to the superintendent, who presents the options to the Board of Education. The Board then votes to approve the calendar.