Feedback Sought On Proposed School Calendars

NEWARK – The school system this week released three potential calendar options for community members to review for the coming school year.

On Tuesday, school system staff presented the Worcester County Board of Education with three calendar options for the 2023-2024 school year. The public will have the chance to weigh in on the options before Superintendent Lou Taylor returns to the board with an official calendar recommendation in early 2023.

“We intend to publicize these calendar options as soon as possible along with our traditional survey tool to give all of our stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in on which option they prefer and any suggestions they may have,” said Carrie Sterrs, the school system’s coordinator of public relations and special programs.

While Sterrs in recent years has presented the board with two calendar options, this year she outlined three possible calendars. While one aims to end the school year as early as possible, a second features long breaks and the third is a combination of the other two. Each calendar features three inclement weather days built onto the end of the school year.

“Beyond those three days it’s our intention not to further alter the calendar with closures but transition to virtual learning,” she said, adding that that would be contingent on approval from the state.

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The calendar option that features the earliest dismissal date, which has the shortest breaks, begins the school year the day after Labor Day on Sept. 5 and ends the school year June 6.

“The second proposal, which intends to provide more frequent and longer breaks throughout the year, you’ll see a full week break for Thanksgiving, a two-week winter break in December, and the addition of two days to spring break in March,” Sterrs said. “This calendar potentially ends the school year on June 20.”

The third option offers a balance.

“Within this proposal Thanksgiving reverts back to the Wednesday through Friday closure while still maintaining that full two-week winter break,” Sterrs said. “Spring break is extended but only by one day, bringing the potential end of the school year in this proposal to Friday June 14th.”

The calendar survey is open to the public on the school system’s website, www.worcesterk12.org. Feedback will be compiled with a calendar recommendation in early 2023.

“We take a look at all the feedback and sometimes we even make a fourth calendar based on feedback,” Taylor said. “Carrie and I will talk about it and then make a proposal to the board.”

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.