Calendar Drafts

2019-2020 Calendar Drafts

The SDPC administration has brought two 2019-2020 school calendar options to the school board. The calendars are the result of extensive feedback gathered from parents, community members, and employees.

The two options are labeled as "Regular" and "Balanced." The Regular calendar starts school on August 20. The Balanced calendar would start school on August 8, and would balance 90 school days before the winter break and 90 days after.

Under current South Carolina law, students cannot begin school before the third Monday in August. SDPC and other school districts have been working for many months with the South Carolina General Assembly to change the start date law in order to have flexibility to start earlier. The law also requires that students attend class for 180 days and teachers have 10 days of professional development.

Based on parent and employee feedback, SDPC will recommend the adoption of the Balanced calendar if the General Assembly acts to change the law concerning the start date.

In a survey taken by more than 2,200 parents and employees about two initial draft calendars, more than 60 percent preferred a calendar with an early start date, and a significant majority indicated a preference for more breaks throughout the school year.

After the survey, SDPC Superintendent Danny Merck also held face-to-face meetings at every school with teachers and parent groups to solicit more feedback on the calendar. These feedback sessions resulted in several changes from the initial drafts that were presented for the survey:

  • Changes to the start dates to avoid starting the year on a Monday on both calendars;
  • More breaks for students throughout the year on the Balanced calendar;
  • Early Release days on August 29 and November 5. The August 29 early release day is designed to alleviate expected traffic issues from a Thursday night Clemson University home football game;
  • More professional development days at the beginning of the year, with two days specifically designated for teachers to work in their classrooms to prepare for the year.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the calendar on January 28 to finalize the calendar, although the vote may be postponed if necessary depending on the General Assembly's progress toward changing the start date law.