Sanderson looking into Craven school calendar issue

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 05:46 PM.

Havelock and Arthur W. Edwards elementary schools and Tucker Creek Middle School operate on year-round calendars, in which classes begin in the middle of July and continue for nine weeks, with three-week breaks built in throughout the year and a shorter five-week summer.

The early college high school calendar is more aligned with traditional college calendars in which the semester ends before Christmas break.

Craven County Schools officials maintain that having three school calendars is difficult on families who may have children on different schedules and struggle finding the time for vacations. They also say the calendars make district-wide professional development and teacher training difficult because the teacher workdays don’t coincide. They also point to the benefits of ending a semester and taking final exams before Christmas break, which would allow the possibility that older students could graduate high school early and enroll in college for spring semesters.

"It’s one of those things where I know, as evidenced by past battles, that it’s an issue some people don’t like," Sanderson said of the modified calendar. "Some of the people in year-round schools really want to keep year-round.

"I understand both sides. I understand what the Craven County administration wants to do, to get everyone on the same schedule, but I see the benefits of year-round."

Craven County Schools has set a March 15 deadline for action by the General Assembly on the proposed modified calendar waiver. If no action is taken, the school system will keep the traditional, year-round and early college calendars for 2013-14.

Newly elected N.C. House representatives Michael Speciale and George Graham could not be reached for comment. 

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