Public Invited To Weigh In On School Calendar Options

Public Invited To Weigh In On School Calendar Options
A third calendar option, labeled as a "moderately balanced" option, is pictured above.

NEWARK – A community survey regarding calendar options for the next school year is now available on the school system’s website.

Community members have until Jan. 12 to weigh in on three proposed calendars for the 2024-2025 school year.

“I’ll be back in early 2024 with both the survey results as well as the superintendent’s recommended calendar for your approval,” Carrie Sterrs, the school system’s coordinator of public relations and special programs, told the Worcester County Board of Education last week.

Sterrs presented the board with three calendar options at the December board meeting. She said all three options met both state and local requirements.

“The three proposals maintain those focus areas we’ve traditionally had as well as the popular moderately balanced option we added last year,” she said.

She noted that all three proposals included three inclement weather days. If schools end up being closed for more than three days because of inclement weather, the school system will transition to virtual learning.

Sterrs said the first proposal includes a winter break from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.

“Spring break includes only the state mandated holidays of Good Friday and Easter Monday, which brings the potential end of the school year to June 9,” Sterrs said.

She said the second proposal was focused on longer and more frequent breaks.

“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,” she said. “This calendar potentially ends the school year on June 18.”

The third option balances the two more extreme calendars.

“Within this proposal Thanksgiving reverts back to the Wednesday through Friday closure, winter break is roughly a week and a half, and spring break maintains that extended break, bringing the potential end of the school year to Friday June 12,” Sterrs said.

She added that the Worcester County Teachers Association had provided input on the calendar options as stipulated in this year’s contract. Sterrs said following the meeting the survey would be available on the school system’s website,, for the public.

“We intend to publicize these calendar options as soon as possible using our traditional survey tool, which is Survey Monkey, to give all of our stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in on which option they prefer and they can provide any suggestions they may have as well,” she said.

She said she’d return to the board in 2024 with survey results as well as the calendar recommendation from the superintendent.

School board member Katie Addis said she’d heard from many constituents who weren’t happy with the fact that in the current calendar, professional development half days were on Wednesdays. Superintendent Lou Taylor said he’d heard that feedback as well.

“All of these calendars still include that,” Addis said, adding that people she’d talked to thought Friday would be a better day for those half-day closures.

“These are just the initial options,” Sterrs said.

She said there was still time for adjustments to be made to the calendar proposals.

“I know our leadership team is still having that conversation,” she said.

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.