DARLINGTON, SC (PRESS RELEASE) – The Darlington County Board of Education approved the 2015-2016 Darlington County School District calendar at their regular meeting Monday night. The calendar was developed by a committee of parents, students, community members, teachers, administrators, and district staff, who sifted through the numerous requirements and requests to shape and refine the final calendar.
Audrey Childers, public information officer for the district, reviewed the proposed calendar with the Board of Education. Childers noted in her presentation that the Department of Education has not yet established the testing dates for 2015-2016. The calendar may be revised once those dates are provided.
The proposed calendar meets the district's legal requirements as well as addresses the many requests and practices. As required by law, students cannot begin school before the third Monday in August. Darlington County students will meet this requirement by starting on August 17, 2015. Teachers will start earlier on August 10. The law also requires that students attend class for 180 days and teachers have ten days of professional development.
In addition to the legal requirements, the committee took into consideration a wish list from teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members:
School administrators requested at least four days of in-service before students return so teachers, administrators and schools would have adequate time to prepare for the school year. The proposed calendar offered five days.
Employees, students and parents requested three days off for Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas.
Employees, students and parents requested a week off for Spring Break at Easter. It's usually anchored by Easter so employees can spend the holiday with their families. According to Childers there was discussion about whether to have Spring Break the week before Easter or the week after Easter. Ultimately the committee decided that many families of staff and students travel during Spring Break. By moving Spring Break to the week after Easter, the number of people traveling on Easter Sunday, one of the busiest travel times during the year, could potentially be reduced.
The calendar committee was able to continue the tradition of scheduling parent-teacher conference days on the evening of one day and the morning of the next. According to Childers, this schedule provides greater flexibility for working parents and has been a popular part of district calendar.
By law, three days must be set aside as inclement weather days. For 2015-16, the inclement weather make-up days will be (in order of use): February 12, March 4, and May 27. Childers said, “Our designated inclement weather days are professional development days. If we have to use those days as student make-up days, teachers will have to make up three days of professional development, which will probably fall after Memorial Day.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the parents, students, teachers and staff who worked so hard developing this calendar! We greatly appreciate your efforts and dedication,” said Childers. “As with any major project, we had to find compromises and middle ground, but ultimately we have a good working calendar for next year.”
A copy version of the calendar is available for download on the school district's website at
6..... No school: Independence Day
10-14..... No school: Professional development
17..... First day of school for students
7..... No school: Labor Day
17..... Full day of school; Parent conferences 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Interim report (23rd day
of the quarter)
18..... No school: Parent conferences (8:00 AM - 12:00 PM) and professional development (half day for teachers)
16..... No school: Report Card Prep
21..... End of 1st quarter
28..... Report card
25-27..... No school: Thanksgiving
21-Jan. 1..... No school: Christmas/Winter Break
1..... Christmas Break
4..... All return from Christmas Break
8..... Early dismissal after lunch (Report Card & End of Semester Prep)
11..... End of second quarter/End of first semester
18..... No school: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
20..... Report cards issued
11...... Full day of school; Parent conferences 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM; Interim
report (21st day of quarter)
12..... No school: Parent conferences (8:00 AM - 12:00 PM) and professional
development (half day for teachers)
4..... No school: Professional Development
17..... End of 3rd quarter
23..... Report cards issued
25..... Early dismissal after lunch; Professional development
28-Apr. 1..... Spring Break - students & 190-day employees
28-30....... Spring Break - 12-month employees
1..... Spring Break - students & 190-day employees
29..... Early dismissal after lunch; Professional development
24-26..... Short day, no lunch served
26..... End of 4th quarter, last day of school
27..... No school: Professional development
30..... No school: Memorial Day