Charleston County School District's proposed calendars again includes five-day break in January

The controversial five-day school break in January that many parents said was too soon after a two-week winter vacation appears on both versions of Charleston County School District's proposed 2014-15 calendar.

The school district has released two potential options for the upcoming school year calendar, and they're asking the community to give input on them.

Both calendars call for a five-day break that would coincide with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. After hearing this year that some parents didn't like the lengthy January break, district Chief Academic Officer Lisa Herring had told The Post and Courier the district would take that input into consideration when developing the 2014-15 calendar.

Berkeley County School District and Dorchester District 2 scheduled three-day breaks this year for the MLK holiday.

Herring said the five-day break for students follows the end of the first semester. Teachers need one of those days as a work day to complete student grades and prepare for the next semester, and another day off is the district's mid-year professional development for teachers, she said. The federal holiday adds a fifth day off for students.

"Community feedback is a vital part of our decision-making process," Herring said. "Please know that we did consider the feedback and moved forward with the most feasible options available."

The biggest difference in the calendars appear to be the proposed start dates, as well as the length of Thanksgiving break.

"Option a" would mean students start school Aug. 20, a Wednesday, and they would have three days off for Thanksgiving.

"Option b" would mean students start Aug 18., a Monday, and they would have five days off at Thanksgiving.

Those interested in giving feedback on the calendar can take a survey at The survey will be open until Feb. 14.

The results of that survey will be presented to the county school board at its Feb. 24 meeting. The board will have final say over the upcoming school year calendar.

Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or (843) 937-5546.

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