2018-19 school calendar information (FAQ)

2018-19 school calendar information (FAQ)
Posted on 02/01/2018
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The Kannapolis City Board of Education is considering the possibility of having two school calendars for the 2018-19 school year. KCS held an open meeting with families and staff on January 30th to get feedback about the dual calendar proposal. We have included a list of the questions that were asked at the meeting along with the answers (see below). For more information and to see a copy of the proposed calendars, please click here.   


Frequently Asked Questions about the 2018-2019 school calendar

Why is the school board considering having two separate calendars for the 2018-2019 school year? Why can’t the entire district be on one calendar?

The reason the board is considering two different calendars is because not all KCS schools have the same flexibility when it comes to adopting a calendar. Only A.L. Brown High School and Kannapolis Middle School have the freedom to adopt a calendar that better meets the needs of students without following the rules set down by the NC legislature. KCS elementary schools must still follow the NC calendar law that was passed by lawmakers and do not have additional flexibility.  

The suggestion to consider two separate calendars came from the KCS Calendar Committee. That committee meets each year to develop a recommended calendar for the following school year. The committee is made up of representatives from parents, staff, and students in KCS. The committee recognized the value of starting the school year earlier in August. However, they realized that not all KCS schools had the flexibility to adopt their preferred calendar. As a result, they asked if two different calendars could be considered.

Based on the recommendation of the School Calendar Committee, the KCS Board of Education is considering the idea of adopting two separate calendars. However, prior to making a decision, the board is getting input from parents, staff, and students.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a separate calendar for the middle and high school?  

A separate calendar for the secondary level would allow A.L. Brown students to finish exams before Christmas and be on a similar schedule with Rowan Cabarrus Community College (RCCC). Matching calendars with RCCC is important because many A.L. Brown students earn free college credit through the district’s partnership with RCCC and take courses at RCCC. Other advantages include:

  • The end of semester for secondary students would align with winter vacation.
  • A separate secondary calendar would keep End of Course testing away from a time most likely to get inclement weather.
  • Having two calendars would not cost any additional money and would have the potential of increasing student achievement.
  • All national holidays, long breaks and early release days would be common between both calendars.
  • The secondary calendar would align with the high school athletics and band calendars.
  • A different high school calendar would align with the Advanced Placement schedule that is set at the national level. It would give KCS students more class time before taking AP exams.
  • A separate secondary calendar would be better from an academic standpoint for students.

Some disadvantages include:

  • There would be a short summer this year for secondary schools.
  • Elementary & Secondary students would have different first and last days of school.
  • Families that have children in elementary school as well as middle or high school would lose some of their potential summer vacation time because of different opening and closing days of school. 


If KCS adopted two separate calendars, how many families would be impacted by having children on different calendars?

Based on current enrollment numbers, 618 KCS households (17.3%) have children in elementary school as well as at least one child in middle school or high school. 320 families (8.9%) have at least one child in high school and another in elementary school. When looking at individual student numbers, 2,149 (39%) KCS students come from single-student households, while 3,321 (60.7%) KCS students come from multiple student households.

Has a decision already been made about the calendar, or is there additional time for input?  

No decision has been made yet. The Kannapolis City Board of Education will make the final decision about which calendar(s) to adopt for the 2018-2019 school year. They will consider the calendar during their February 12th meeting, which begins at 6:00 p.m. at the KCS Administrative Offices. Anyone wishing to give opinions to school board members about the school calendar should use this link to find board members’ contact information. (Simply click the “i” next to each member’s name to see the member’s e-mail address).


How many elementary schools have the same calendar flexibility as A.L. Brown and Kannapolis Middle School?

Currently, no KCS elementary schools have additional calendar flexibility.


How can all KCS schools be included in getting additional calendar flexibility?

In order for the entire district to have calendar flexibility, the NC legislature would have to extend calendar flexibility to all NC public schools. This link includes contact information for state legislators from Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. We encourage people to contact their legislators to ask for additional calendar flexibility.


Is it possible to wait for the legislature to give more calendar flexibility to school districts before adopting two different calendars?

Despite repeated requests from school boards and school districts across the state, there is no legislation being considered in Raleigh that would give additional calendar flexibility to school districts. Therefore, it is unlikely that school districts will receive more flexibility anytime soon. We encourage people to contact their legislators to ask for additional calendar flexibility.

How many other districts are working on dual calendars?

Because the legislation giving some schools additional flexibility is so new, there are not currently any districts where the dual calendars have been put into place.  


Are there data to compare how well students do when exams are given before Christmas break to how well students do when exams are given after Christmas break?

Since it has been more than ten years since state calendar laws pushed high school exams into January, it would be difficult to compare current test results to test scores from so long ago. NC tests and curriculum have changed several times over the years. However, KCS will try to find valid comparisons to see if they show any significant differences. In addition, the district is looking at data to compare test results between first and second semester testing to see if the lack of a break before testing makes a significant difference.    


Will it cost more for transportation and bus drivers if there are two separate calendars?  

No. There will be no additional cost because bus drivers are paid hourly. If the district does adopt two different calendars, bus drivers would drive fewer hours when only part of the district is in session. Drivers would work the same number of hours and drive the same number of miles over the course of the school year, so there would be no additional cost.  


What if travel plans and vacations are already booked for 2018-2019? Should the district wait until 2019-20 to implement two calendars so families would have more time to plan?

It is something that KCS has discussed, and it will be among the considerations of the school board as it makes its decision.  


Has anyone surveyed the students to see what they think about having two calendars?  

While no formal survey has been given to students, there were student representatives on the Calendar Committee that made the original recommendation. KCS will consider doing a student survey.


How does exam prep work? Can KCS improve the process—regardless of whether exams are given before or after Christmas?

A.L. Brown does exam prep before and after the Christmas break and is always looking to improve its procedures and results. There are strict rules from the state about when exams can be given in relation to the end of the semester. Therefore, there is very little flexibility about when A.L. Brown can give exams after the Christmas break. Currently, there are only about five days between when school resumes in January and when exams must be given. After a long winter break, it is difficult to find enough time to cover required material, review previous material, and prepare for exams within the restricted time period.


Has KCS considered the impact that two calendars would have on families that depend on high school students to take care of younger siblings during the summer and on teacher workdays?

Yes. This is among the factors that will be considered by the school board as it makes a decision regarding the 2018-2019 school calendar(s).


Has KCS considered how many high school students have summer jobs that would require them to work beyond the beginning of August (such as camp counselors)?  

Yes. This is among the factors that will be considered by the school board as it makes a decision regarding the 2018-2019 school calendar(s).


Is a different exam schedule enough of a reason to adopt two calendars? Are there other reasons that KCS is considering this change? 

The main reason that KCS is considering the change is because the Calendar Committee (made up of parent, student, and staff representatives) made the suggestion. As with any change, we know there would be multiple advantages and disadvantages. Besides moving exams to before the Christmas break, other reasons to have a separate secondary calendar include:

  • The high school calendar would match the Rowan Cabarrus Community College, which would help hundreds of KCS students that take courses at RCCC each year and earn free college credit while still in high school.
  • A different high school calendar would align with the Advanced Placement schedule that is set at the national level. It would give KCS students more class time before taking AP exams.
  • A different high school calendar would match with the high school band and athletics calendars that are set at the state level.
  • A separate secondary calendar would be better from an academic standpoint for students. 

The school board will consider all the pros and cons as it makes it decision on the 2018-19 school calendar. 


Would elementary teacher assistants need to drive more as a result of running two calendars?

No. Having two separate calendars would not change the teacher assistant/bus driver situation.


Has KCS looked at what impact two calendars might have on teacher turnover? Does KCS know how many of its staff members would be impacted by working in a school that has one calendar while their children attend a school that is on a different calendar? 

KCS has consulted with many of its teachers about the idea of having two separate calendars. In general, having two calendars would benefit some teachers and be a disadvantage for others. KCS always wants to keep its outstanding staff, and teacher retention will be among the factors the school board considers as it makes a decision about the 2018-19 school calendar. 

KCS will look into finding how many of its staff members work at one level (elementary or secondary) and have children that attend a school that would be on a different calendar.     


Why were the high school and middle school put together in the same calendar?

The current calendar proposal was based on the recommendation from the Calendar Committee. However, it is not the only option. The district could adopt a K-8 calendar and a 9-12 calendar; KCS could adopt a K-5 calendar and a 6-12 calendar, or the district could just have one calendar for all schools. The school board will consider these options as it makes its decision.


Could KCS adjust the start of the second semester for secondary students so that both calendars ended on the same day in June and had the same breaks during second semester?

That suggestion could be considered.


If a school gets calendar flexibility from the state, does that flexibility ever go away?

No. Based on the current legislation, schools that receive calendar flexibility keep it indefinitely. 

For more information about the calendars and to see a copy of the proposed calendars, please click here.     

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