As you remember, students missed four school days (Tuesday, Sept. 11, through Friday, Sept. 14) by order of Governor Henry McMaster due to Hurricane Florence.
By law (Section 59-1-425 of the South Carolina Code of Laws), districts are required to include at least three severe weather makeup days in each year’s academic school calendar. In the 2018–2019 academic school calendar, Lexington District One designated February 18, March 15 and April 22 as those severe weather makeup days.
That same section of the law prevents school districts from beginning school before the third Monday in August, although we know that high school students and their parents and teachers would like first semester to end before Winter Break.
Our original calendar allowed that to happen by planning a shorter first semester (83 days) than our second semester (97 days). The loss of four instructional days in the first semester, however, makes the difference between semesters too great.
Simply adding four days to the second semester does not solve our first-semester students’ need for more instructional time before taking exams during the first semester.
As a result, the district will change the calendar and move second nine weeks testing and high school final exams after Winter Break. This will allow us to restore instructional time lost in first semester due to Hurricane Florence and more closely balance the two semesters.
We will make up three of the four school days by using the three days already designated as severe weather makeup days on the 2018–2019 academic calendar: Monday, Feb. 18, Friday, March 15, and Monday, April 22.
State law requires that the calendar be 180 days long. In order for that to happen, the board will need to make a decision about when the fourth day will be made up or forgiven. We are proposing to the Board of Trustees that we could make up the fourth day by adding another instructional day, Thursday, June 6, to the academic calendar. The board will consider their options at a future meeting.
These changes shift first and second nine weeks testing dates, days scheduled as half days, report card distribution dates and the last day for teachers.
As you know, we canceled the Collaborative Planning Day scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19, and made it a full school day. By doing that, we recovered some instructional time, but this change did not make Sept. 19 a makeup day as it was already a scheduled school day.
With the calendar shifts, the October Collaborative Planning Day moves to Wednesday, Oct. 17, from Wednesday, Oct. 24, in order for teachers and students to have a full school day immediately before Nine Weeks Testing begins on Thursday, Oct. 25.
We hope that by letting you know now about these shifts in the academic calendar, you have time to adjust your calendars and any affected plans. Here is a link to the new calendar with changes marked in red.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Dr. Greg Little, Superintendent