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School_Calendar_Report

School_Calendar_Report

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School Calendar Flexibility Report No. 2017-01 to benefit students, but they prefer not to pull teachers out of the classroom for training. Survey results reveal that a higher percentage of school personnel are dissatisfied with the calendar for their school district as compared to parents. The Program Evaluation Division survey of North Carolina parents and school personnel asked them to rate their satisfaction with their school district’s calendar. Exhibit 13 shows that a majority (51%) of school personnel are dissatisfied with the calendar for their school district, whereas 36% of parents are dissatisfied. Even though a higher percentage of parents than school personnel reported satisfaction with their district’s school calendar, only 44% of parents were satisfied. Exhibit 13 A Majority of School Personnel and 36% of Parents are Dissatisfied with Their District’s School Calendar Satisfaction with their District’s School Calendar Parents (N = 26,178) School Personnel (N = 19,942) Dissatisfied 36% 51% Neither Dissatisfied nor Satisfied 20% 14% Satisfied 44% 35% Source: Program Evaluation Division based on data from a survey of parents and school personnel. In summary, state law limits the flexibility of local boards of education to determine their school calendar. State law restricts how early and late the school year can start and end for public school students. School superintendents and local boards of education have requested restoration of local control over the start and end dates for the school year because they perceive that limited flexibility impedes effective development and management of their school calendar to meet the needs of their communities. Finding 2: Opinions differ on when North Carolina public schools should start and end the school year, and no change in the State’s school calendar law satisfies the competing interests of stakeholders. The Program Evaluation Division sought a wide range of input about how North Carolina’s school calendar law affects public education, school operations, families, and businesses. To elicit this feedback, the Program Evaluation Division used a variety of data collection tools including interviews, surveys, focus groups, and citizen polls. A diverse array of stakeholders has opinions on when public schools should start and end the school year. The Program Evaluation Division received information from 19 different stakeholder organizations and grouped the stakeholders into five categories (listed in Exhibit 14) based on why they are interested in when North Carolina public schools start and end the school year. State government. The State Board of Education and the Department of Public instruction provide oversight and policy direction for public education in North Carolina. Their Page 17 of 38

School Calendar Flexibility Report No. 2017-01 responsibilities include setting policies for the school calendar law and supervising local boards of education and school administrators in their implementation of the law’s requirements. Education. These organizations represent local boards of education, school administrators, educators, and school employees. They are interested in how scheduling the start and end dates for the school year affects school operations, academic schedules, and student performance. Parent and citizen. These organizations represent parents, teachers, and other concerned citizens who are interested in how scheduling the start and end dates for the school year affects families and students including scheduling vacations and family time. Travel and tourism. These organizations represent travel and tourism-related businesses. They are interested in how scheduling the start and end dates of the school year affects their businesses including when and where families schedule vacations and tourismrelated activities, availability of seasonal employees, and summer camp attendance. Other interested stakeholders. These limited government and social justice organizations are interested in how state and local government determines the start and end dates for the school year. The competing interests of these stakeholders influence their opinions about the school calendar law. They have different views on how the law affects public education, school operations, families, and businesses. Page 18 of 38

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