School districts in South Carolina make calendar changes

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — York School District One voted Tuesday night in favor of a modified school calendar that is similar to year-round school. The Clover School District did the same thing last month.

Channel 9 South Carolina reporter Tina Terry explains what influenced York District One′s decision.

Teachers with York School District One created the new calendar. Leaders hope the extra breaks during the year will help keep teachers employed and draw more of them to local schools.

“At my school today, there were 18 teachers out because they just didn’t want to show up,” said Andrea Scism, a substitute teacher in York County.

She said burnout often leads to teacher absences.

“It is overwhelming because most of the regular teachers are covering other teachers’ classes because they just won’t show up,” Scism said.

She said the new modified calendars that just passed could address that problem.

“The summer will be two weeks shorter, and we will have an intercession week in October and an intercession week in February,” said Superintendent Kelly Cox, York School District One.

Coxe said the new breaks will give students who are falling behind a chance to catch up during the new breaks.

“This puts an opportunity for that teacher to work with them,” Coxe said.

Leaders hope the new calendar will improve teacher recruitment and retention.

“It’s an opportunity for our teachers to have a break,” Coxe said. “In this time of competitiveness between districts and the teacher shortage, we wanted to make sure we honored the voice of our teachers.”

Scism is working toward her teacher certification and would be more willing to work for a district with a modified calendar.

“I do view that as a perk, having the extra time off to get prepared for what students need,” Scism said.

Chesterfield County Schools will also implement a modified calendar next year.

Chester County and Fort Mill school district leaders are also considering the change.

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