ROCK HALL — A survey is still available on the Kent County Public Schools website inviting parents, students, staff and community members to give their input on the calendar for the 2021-22 academic year.
There are two school calendars to choose between, one starting before Labor Day, which falls on Monday, Sept. 6, and one beginning after.
The calendars and initial survey results were presented to the Kent County Board of Education at their monthly meeting Dec. 14.
The pre-Labor Day calendar kicks off the school year on Monday, Aug. 30. The last day for students — a half day — would be Wednesday, June 15. It includes professional days for teachers on Oct. 14, Jan. 24 and Feb. 18.
The calendar with a post-Labor Day start sees students return to school Tuesday, Sept. 7. The last day of school, still a half day, would be pushed back one day to Thursday, June 16. The three professional days shift a bit as well to Oct. 15, Jan. 28 and Feb. 18.
Thanksgiving break is the same for both calendars with no school Nov. 24-26. Winter break is the same for both as well, with students out Dec. 24 and back Jan. 3.
Spring break is different between the two calendars. For the pre-Labor day start, spring break runs Wednesday, April 13 to Tuesday, April 19. Spring break on the post-Labor Day calendar is shorter, running from Thursday, April 14 to Monday, April 18.
Both calendars have four inclement weather days built it.
Presenting the calendars Dec. 14, Ed Silver, supervisor of human resources, said they were developed by a committee comprising three parents, three teachers, three administrators and two support staff members.
“So we were trying to get the viewpoint of many different individuals,” Silver said.
He said the guiding principle in preparing the calendars was consideration of what would be best for students and the needs of all the stakeholders in the school community. He said the committee sought to maximize student learning, provide time for teachers to collaborate and meet state and contractual requirements.
“So one of the things we did to get started was we put out a survey to try to gather some information,” Silver said. “One of the things that was nice about this year in particular if you look at those survey results, I think we had for the first time more parents respond than any other group. We also had a large number of students respond, which was great to get their input too.”
As of the Dec. 14 Board of Education meeting, KCPS had received 518 responses to its survey. Parents made up 32% of responses, followed by students and teachers each comprising 25.7% of responses.
The majority of responses at that time — 65.5% — favored a post-Labor day start. The pre-Labor day start garnered 24%.
The calendars were presented that night for the board members’ information. Board members agreed with Silver to put the calendars out for another round of surveys in advance of their next meeting, Monday Jan. 11.