Key Points
  • Steering Committee develops four to six options
  • Full Committee representing all stakeholders refines drafts and selects two best calendars for each year
  • Information will be shared with teachers and administrators
  •  Poll for all employees to state their preference
  • Poll for community preference
  • Poll results provided to Superintendent
  • Recommendation to the School Board for approval
NC Law: General Statute Section § 115C-84.2 (2011 House Bill 200, effective July 1, 2011, rewrote a portion of the calendar law)
  • 215 days total
  • 185 instructional days
  • 9/10 teacher workdays
  • 10 annual leave days
  • 10/11 holidays
  • Start no sooner than August 25
  •  Close no later than June 10
  •  Veteran’s Day must be a holiday
  • At least 2 optional workdays for accumulated leave 
CMS Policy and Regulation (revised 1/6/12)
  • Consistent with N.C. law
  • Specifies use of teacher workdays
  • Addresses holidays, severe weather make-up days, Election Day, religious holidays and graduation requirements
Instructional Focus on the Calendar
  • Uninterrupted “chunks” of learning time
  • Minimize loss of instructional time
  • Testing issues and the calendar
  • Maximize use of teacher workdays
  • Avoiding days with high absenteeism 
Other Considerations
  • Aim to recognize major religious holidays representing diversity of community so as to minimize staff and student absenteeism (Another policy is in place to prohibit major tests or events on religious holidays when students are in school.)
  • Aim to place make-up days where they are likely to be needed. Use workdays and days after June 10 as last resort. Recognize cutting into spring break is painful.
  • Recognize need for winter break to be as long as possible
  • Consideration of federal holidays
  • Timing of spring break

Calendar Development Process

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. At least two optional teacher workdays must be for accumulated leave.

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.

Contacting your elected officials about the North Carolina calendar law
Many members of the public have contacted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools about how to express their opinions on the calendar law approved by the General Assembly in 2011. Contacting your state elected officials is a good way to share your thoughts.

Click on the links below to contact your State House and Senate representatives:
P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.