Williamsburg County School District is excited to announce the adoption of a Modified Year-Round Calendar for the 2024-2025 school year. The South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 59, Chapter 1, Section 59-1-425 outlines school calendar requirements for all school districts. Those requirements are as follows:
The school term must be 190 days annually.
180 of those days must be instruction-based.
The calendar must cover at least nine (9) months.
School districts cannot start the school year before the third Monday in August; This provision is waived if districts elect to implement a Modified Year-Round Calendar.
The ten (10) Staff Professional Development days must be broken down into the following categories:
Three (3) days must be used for Collegial Professional Development based upon the educational standards as required by Section 59-18-300. The professional development must address, at a minimum, academic achievement standard, including strengthening teachers' knowledge in their content area, teaching techniques, and assessments.
No more than two (2) days may be used as preparation for the opening of schools.
The remaining five (5) days may be used for teacher planning, academic plans, and parent conferences.
Three (3) school makeup days must be built into calendars for bad weather. Williamsburg County School District is now identified as an eLearning District, which allows us to use eLearning on inclement weather days. We are still required to schedule three inclement weather days in our Academic Calendar.
Per Section 59-1-370, All public schools shall be closed on Election Day in November of each even numbered year.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is the difference between a year-round and a Modified Year-round Calendar? A Modified Year-round Calendar is NOT a traditional year-round calendar. Traditional Year-round calendars have an increased number of mandatory attendance days. With a Modified Year-Round Calendar, the number of school days stays the same (180 days for schools in South Carolina). Traditional Calendars and Modified Year-Round Calendars are different based on when breaks occur.
2. What are the benefits of a Modified Year-round Calendar? The modified year-round calendar is meant to allow both semesters and grading periods to be equivalent, with 45 days for each grading period and 90 days for each semester. A Modified Year-round Calendar also provides important mental health and wellness benefits for students and staff by allowing the district to start mid-week at the beginning of the year, finish the first semester prior to Winter Break, finish the school year the week of Memorial Day and have week-long breaks at designated periods throughout the year.
3. Does the Modified Year-round Calendar add days to the traditional school year? The Modified Year-round Calendar does NOT add days to the traditional school year. It redistributes the 180 days to create additional breaks during periods where there are few or no multi-day breaks for teachers and students (October & February).
4. Does a Modified Year-round Calendar shorten summer break? A Modified Year-round Calendar still has a lengthy summer break, but instead of spanning ten weeks, it is slightly shorter (typically eight weeks).
5.In a Modified Year-round Calendar, would students and staff still be off for holidays? Would we still have spring break? How long would summer break last? Yes. Students and staff would still have traditional holidays off. With a Modified Year-round Calendar, students and staff would also have a fall intersession, winter break, spring break, and a spring intersession. Most districts that operate under a Modified Year-round Calendar have a summer break lasting approximately seven to eight weeks.
6. Are other local school districts considering a Modified Calendar? Several school districts across the state have already implemented a Modified Calendar, while others are planning to implement it in the near future. Neighboring counties such as Georgetown County and Clarendon County have already implemented a Modified Calendar.
7. How would a Modified Year-round Calendar impact athletic and band programs? WCSD does not anticipate that a Modified Year-round Calendar would negatively impact athletics, band, or other extra-curricular programs.
8. How would a Modified Year-round Calendar impact dual enrollment courses? The district will work collaboratively with our dual enrollment partners, as we have in years past, to align calendars as closely as possible. Accommodations will be made for students as needed when breaks do not align. For example, if dual enrollment courses begin a week after our district's start date, students would have the opportunity to spend a week participating in preparation activities before beginning their dual enrollment course.