Cabarrus County Schools district makes changes to 2023-2024 calendar year

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Parents are responding to a major calendar change for one of the biggest school districts in the Channel 9 coverage area.

Students in Cabarrus County will be returning earlier next fall, which means a shorter summer break for both them and teachers.

Reporter Almiya White reported that some parents are questioning the move.

They are not thrilled about sending their kids back to school sooner.

The parents are also concerned that students will not have enough time to unplug during their new summer break.

“A representative was out doing canvassing and they said, ‘Hey, do you know that it was changed?’” said parent Latasha Monford. “And I was like, ‘Well, I do now.’”

Monford was talking about the early start calendar, which was recently adopted in the Carbarrus County school district.

Last month, the school board unanimously voted to start classes in early August of next year, ending the 2023 summer break sooner.

Monford said the new schedule will do her family a disservice with her two children attending schools in the district.

“It doesn’t give them time to refresh and recharge honestly,” Monford said. “It doesn’t give the teachers a chance to refresh and recharge.”

Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, classes will end on May 23. Students will return on Aug. 9 instead of Aug. 28.

For the summer of 2023, the school year still ends on June 8, which leaves the district with a shorter summer break.

Parent Demond Alexander suggests a new start date starting on Aug. 9.

“As a parent, I wish they should go after Labor Day, which makes more sense,” Alexander said.

His daughter, Kendall Alexander, who attends Harold E. Winkler Middle School, said students need to take time to unplug and focus on their mental health during the summer break.

“Some people’s mental health might not be the best,” she said.

Monford said the new summer break will cut into summer travel plans.

“It will be a big adjustment. Summertime is really our time to travel,” Monford said. “I don’t think that luxury would be afforded to us. If we are having to go back so quickly.”

While the vote is final, Monford hopes the district will reevaluate its decision.

“Hopefully, this school year, they’ll say, ‘Hey, these kinks aren’t working how we thought they would work.’ You know, it could potentially affect test scores, teaching classes, being back to school so soon,” Monford said.

Many districts across the state already approved to start school early, including Stanly County, which voted earlier this week.

Other districts are also discussing this option.

VIDEO: Cabarrus County Schools increases focus on students’ mental health after the pandemic

Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV