Dare school board adopts calendar for next academic year

Published 7:52 am Thursday, March 23, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Meeting in a short session, Dare County Board of Education adopted a school calendar for next year and budget amendments.

The first day of school next fall is Monday, August 28. School staff returns August 21 for five days of required work days, one day more than last fall. Starting August 16, school staff has three days of optional workdays.

Scattered throughout the 2023-24 calendar are six optional workdays and seven required workdays. For both categories, no classes will be held.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

Optional workdays are set before holidays such as Sept. 1 for Labor Day; Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving; Dec. 18 for Christmas; Jan. 2, 2024 the day after New Year’s Day; March 29, the Friday before Easter break; and May 24 the Friday before Labor Day weekend.

Required workdays are set for Oct. 6 for professional learning; Nov. 1 for parent conferences; Nov.13 for professional learning; Feb.19, 2024 for parent conferences; and June 10 and 11.

State law requires school systems to follow the holiday schedule established by State Personnel Commission for state employees. Some 11 holidays are marked: Sept. 4; Nov. 10; Nov. 23 and 24; Dec. 22, 25, 26; Jan. 1, 2024, Jan. 15, 2024; April 1; and May 27.

A copy of the adopted calendar for the 2023-24 school year is posted on the the Dare County Schools website, daretolearn.org.

The board adopted proposed revisions to Regulation 4400-R: Student Attendance. These revisions reflect local implementation of attendance requirements for all students attending Dare County Schools.

The proposal was amended by board member Carl Woody. A section on parent notification says that “parents of all students will be notified of student absences through mid-term reports and quarterly reports.” Between periods, parents can check student attendance record through Parent Portal account. Woody suggested inserting calling the school. The amended proposal was approved unanimously.

In the consent agenda, the board adopted a budget amendment appropriating $50,000 for upgrading facilities at the Cape Hatteras Secondary soccer field on Buxton Back Road. The funds were forwarded from Dare County.

Other budget amendments included:

— Adjusting state budgets to show revised allotments: additional funding for the following programs PRC 056 (Transportation), PRC 073 (School Connectivity) and minor decreases to PRCs 015 (Technology), 032 (Exceptional Children) and 061 (Instructional Supplies). Total increase to state revenues (net of the above adjustments) is $144,666.

— Appropriating $63,444 from the PreKGrant.

— Approved bids from Applied Network Consulting Group Inc. and Internet Engineering and authorized staff to finalize contracts for purchase of E-Rate Category 2 equipment for:

– Applied Network Consulting Group, Inc., $29,072.30 for 364 XMS-Cloud one year access point licensing; and $30,912.40 for 25 APC Smart-UPS.

– Internetwork Engineering, $282,639.15 for purchase of 289 access points with five-year licensing; and 389,547.14 for 76 PoE switches with five-year licensing.

The board approved the following administrative placements at the March 13, 2023, meeting:

— Emily Santora, as interim finance director, from March 1 to June 30, 2023.

— Kassie Mount, as acting principal at First Flight Middle School, effective March 14, 2023, with end date to be determined.

— Caroline Pearce, as interim assistant principal at First Flight Middle School, effective March 14, 2023, with end date to be determined.

School calendar rules spelled out

At the March 12, 2023 meeting of the Dare County Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent Steve Blackstock briefed the board members on the legal parameters of creating a school calendar:

— Start date no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and end date no later than the Friday closest to June 11 (unless weather related calendar waiver has been approved, year-round school, charter school or cooperative innovative high school).

— If waiver is approved, the start can be no earlier than Monday closest to August 19.

— Weather-related waivers: All schools within a district must be closed all day for purposes of determining eligibility for a weather-related waiver. Delayed starts or early dismissals of two or more hours no longer apply.

— No educational purpose waivers for exemption waivers for opening or closing dates.

— Must have a minimum of 185 days or 1025 hours. Dare’s calendar is based on 1025 hours.

— Local boards shall designate two work days for teachers to take accumulated leave days. Local boards may designate remaining work days as days teachers may take accumulated leave days.

— Have the same or equivalent number of legal holidays occurring within the school calendar as those designated by the state.

— Veterans Day shall be designated a holiday for all public school personnel and all students enrolled in public school.

— Have a minimum of 10 annual vacation leave days.

— School shall not be held on Sunday.

— Teacher calendar must include 215 days.

— Dare is used to:

– A week of teacher work days before school starts,

– Friday early dismissals before Monday holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day and Wednesday before Thanksgiving off for students,

– Two weeks at Christmas,

– One week at Easter.