Early Release School Calendar Option Selected

Early Release School Calendar Option Selected

NEWARK – School system officials approved a calendar for the 2021-2022 school year that tentatively ends the school year June 14, 2022.

On Tuesday, the Worcester County Board of Education voted to approve a calendar for the next school year that goes from Sept. 7 to June 14, 2022.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said.

In December, Carrie Sterrs, the school system’s coordinator of public relations and special programs, presented the school board with two calendar options. One was designed to end the school year as early as possible while the other included more frequent and longer breaks throughout the school year. While COVID-19 prevented the school system from forming its usual calendar committee, the school community was able to weigh in on the calendar options through a survey that was conducted in January.

“It was conducted entirely online,” Sterrs said, adding that there had been 1,209 responses, which was nearly double last year’s participation.

According to Sterrs, the majority of the survey responses, 53%, came from parents while 37% of responses came from employees. Community members accounted for 4% of responses, as did students. Bus contractors accounted for 2% of responses.

Sterrs said 63% of parents preferred the early release calendar and 58% of employees preferred the early release calendar. The other categories of respondents also preferred the early release option.

“A very clear majority preferred the first option,” Sterrs said.

The early release calendar begins the school year Sept. 7, the day after Labor Day, and ends the school year with a half day on June 14.  Schools will be closed for winter break from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2 and will be closed for spring break April 14-18. Schools will be closed to students on a handful of professional days throughout the year as well. The last day of school is set for June 14 but will depend on whether inclement weather makeup days are needed.

Taylor, who formally recommended the early release calendar to the board for approval, said like parents, he preferred the early release option.

“The sooner we get our kids out the better,” he said, adding that many teenagers had summer jobs they wanted to be available for in June. “Many of our kids are needed in the workforce in the Ocean City area.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.