2020-2021 Calendar Info

2020-2021 Calendar Approved
Posted on 11/11/2019
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On November 11, the school board approved a calendar for the 2020-2021 school year with a start date of August 10, with teachers returning on August 3. The calendar includes several changes from the version that was presented publicly in October. These changes were based on feedback to board members received by email, phone calls, and public input meetings on November 4 and 5.

Click here to view the calendar!

On October 8, the South Carolina Board of Education approved a waiver for SDPC, granting our district freedom from a number of state regulations so that we can offer students more options for personalized learning.

Many of the regulations SDPC sought a waiver for had to do with enabling more opportunity and flexibility for virtual (online) and blended (combination of online and face-to-face) courses. Part of SDPC's plan for offering more virtual and blended courses was a calendar that featured two 20-week blocks for classes both before and after Christmas break, allowing first semester to be completed before the break. This innovation in scheduling to accommodate virtual and blended courses was essential to the state's approval of our waiver.

SDPC administration also believes that students and families will benefit from:

• longer holiday breaks,
• school ending before Memorial Day, and
• multiple breaks during second semester to reduce stress and improve mental health of students and staff.

The approved calendar is a compromise to accommodate families who had planned vacation or other activities for the first week of August. Other adjustments to breaks through the year were made to alleviate some childcare concerns. Specifically, "mental health breaks" in October, February, and March were rearranged to stay within single weeks.

The district's primary concern with moving the start date to August 10 was whether it would align with the purpose of the waiver granted by the State Board of Education, specifically by aligning better to our virtual course calendar. Although we believe that beginning in the first week of August would be better for our personalized learning plan, starting on August 10 still offers advantages for personalized learning over starting on the third Monday in August:

 • Because teachers will return August 3, we can still begin our virtual course instruction the first week of August.
• Because most staff will have returned in the first week of August, we can accommodate the small number of virtual course students who rely on a school internet connection to complete their work.

Going forward, SDPC will plan to present a calendar for the 2021-2022 school year that begins in the first week of August with the intention of continuing with that model in the years to come. The district has developed draft calendars through the 2024-2025 school year, which will be posted on the district website for planning purposes, but must be reviewed by the board each year before final approval and are subject to change.

Click here to view future draft calendars.

SDPC will continue to make accommodations for families with conflicts during August 10-14, as long as conflicts are communicated to the student's principal before December 20, 2019.