SDPC seeking input on calendar options

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

EASLEY — Two versions of the School District of Pickens County calendar for the 2016-17 academic year are currently under consideration by the district. However, officials are also seeking public input before a final decision is made.

The Normal Start Calendar, based on current South Carolina law, requires school begin no earlier than the third Monday in August. The Early Start Calendar has been prepared in the event the state legislature approves a change in South Carolina law that would allow school to begin a week earlier.

School district officials say they support such a change in order to have as many school days as possible before Christmas holiday break and before standardized tests are administered in the spring.

Included in the Normal Start Calendar are Aug. 10-12 as Professional Learning Days for teachers and Aug. 15 as the first day of school for students. The Thanksgiving holiday would be observed Nov. 23-25, while Christmas break would take place from Dec. 19-30.

Spring break would be observed from April 10-14, and inclement weather days would consist of March 7, April 7 and June 5, in that order.

Educators say exams under the Normal Start Calendar would be Dec. 3-6, while second-semester exams would take place May 30-June 2. Graduation ceremonies would be scheduled for May 27. Holidays for Labor Day and Election Day, the latter set for Nov. 8, as well as students being off for teacher in-service, are also included in the calendar.

Under the Early Start Calendar, teachers would attend Professional Learning Day activities from Aug. 1-5, with Aug. 8 the first day for students. Thanksgiving, Christmas holiday and spring break would remain the same as the Normal Start Calendar, while graduation would take place May 20 — a week earlier than the other calendar — and inclement weather days are March 24, April 7 and April 17, in that order.

Holidays for Labor Day and Election Day, as well as in-service days that are off days for students, are also included.

“We appreciate feedback on all aspects of the calendar, including starting and end dates, length of holiday breaks and placement of professional learning days,” district spokesman John Eby said, adding that the school board typically makes a final decision around the end of January.

To provide feedback, contact Eby at