The 2013-2014 school year is more than halfway over, and in the last few weeks school boards have decided what 2014-2015 will look like for students and teachers.
All school districts in York, Chester and Lancaster counties have announced their new calendars, without too many big surprises or changes from this year’s calendar.
Fort Mill schools and schools in Chester and Lancaster counties will be back in session on Monday, Aug. 18, while Rock Hill, York and Clover schools will start the new academic year two days later, on Wednesday, Aug. 20.
All six school districts have a few similar dates where no students or teachers will be in school, including Labor Day, Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The only district sending anyone to school on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, President’s Day and Memorial Day is Lancaster County, which has teacher workdays or professional development days scheduled, although students still get those days off.
All school districts will have a winter break that runs the entire two weeks spanning Christmas and New Year’s, although Fort Mill will also have Dec. 18 and 19 off and have a teacher workday on Jan. 5 to accommodate the move from the existing Riverview Elementary School building to its new building on Spratt Street.
All but one district will have its spring break in 2015 from March 30 through April 3, the week preceding Easter. Clover has its break scheduled for the following week, from April 6-10.
The last day of classes in 2015 for students in Chester and Lancaster counties is May 29, while all York County districts finish on June 4.
Each district has other student holidays throughout the year in the form of teacher workdays, and each district also has at least three weather-related makeup days built into the calendar, as required by state law. Fort Mill has four scheduled days and has a history of scheduling more days than required.
During calendar discussions in Rock Hill, several school board members voiced concerns that three days wasn’t enough in light of this year’s pair of winter storms which closed area schools for up to five days, although there was not enough concern to prompt a change.
In other recent years, districts have rarely needed more than the three allotted days and in some years, they haven’t used any.
As for this year’s snow days, the state Legislature hasn’t decided whether to “forgive” those missed days.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072