Option of year-round schools should remain

Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 04:06 PM.

If given the option of having children get a better education or a worse education, I believe everyone would pick a better education.

That’s why I find it disappointing that Craven County Schools has decided against continuing the year-round calendar at Havelock Elementary, Arthur W. Edwards Elementary and Tucker Creek Middle schools for next year.

Superintendent Lane Mills, with the backing of the Craven County Board of Education, want what is called a modified school calendar in which classes would start in early August and end in late May, and semesters would be split at the Christmas holiday, the calendar the county used to use.

They tried to get it for the current academic year by getting a waiver from the General Assembly that would allow the county to trump state law that mandates the start of classes no earlier than Aug. 25. The 2004 law, which exempts year-round schools, came about because beach businesses and the tourism industry felt an early August start to school was hurting the economies of beach locations.

The system’s effort to get a waiver failed, so the county kept both the current traditional and year-round calendars for this year.

Mills has said the system would seek another waiver to get the county on the modified calendar for the 2014-15 school year. Based on this year, there’s no reason to think a waiver would pass next year. Mills has said if it fails, all county schools — except the two early colleges — would go to the traditional calendar.

School system officials have said that having the year-round, traditional and early college school calendars makes county-wide training and meetings of teachers and administrators difficult to achieve. They also say many in the Havelock area who have children on different school calendars want just one to better coordinate schedules and vacations.

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