The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education approved a tentative 2021-22 school calendar at Monday night’s meeting.
The tentative calendar would see school begin on Aug. 9, 2021 for the system’s Early Colleges and Aug. 23, 2021 for the Traditional Schools.The Early Colleges would end school on May 23, 2022, while the Traditional Schools would end on June 8, 2022.
The board approved the tentative calendar to allow the central office to begin the early planning stages for the next school year, but the board is still holding onto the hope that the state legislature will allow calendar flexibility for the second year in a row.
“This is a tentative calendar based on any future changes that the state legislature might make in the flexibility for school systems,” Board member Sam Kennington said. “I think that’s critical. I do not want this calendar to go out tonight and for our public and teachers to think this is final.”
If the state legislature were to decide in February to allow calendar flexibility, Director of Accountability, Testing and Student Information Laura Elliott told the board she had a back-up plan.
The back-up calendar, preferred by the school board, would start school a week earlier on Aug. 16, 2021, allowing for the first semester to end before the Christmas break. Ending the first semester before the Christmas break would allow students to take exams before Christmas.
The tentative calendar approved at Monday’s meeting would mean students would take their first semester exams after the Christmas break.
Superintendent Jeff James told the board they are on the same page with both the public and the school board regarding taking exams after the Christmas holiday.
“We are in 100% agreement with the board and the community,” James said. “It is not conducive to parents or students.”
James went on to explain that the school system’s hands are tied by the general assembly. James told the board, all that is being asked is for the legislature to allow Iredell-Statesville to start school five days early.
“If they (the state legislature) would give us 5 days, we could start on the 16th and make this work,” James said.