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The Wake County Board of Education on Tuesday discussed school calendars for the 2020-21 school year based on new legislation approved by lawmakers in late April. Watch the discussion.

They are expected to vote on the calendars on June 2. 

Apart from year-round calendars, these proposed calendars would be similar to those previously approved by the school board, including the same Winter and Spring breaks. Calendars had to be adjusted to include the five days of remote learning mandated by recent state law. 

We will notify you again when calendars have been officially approved by the board.

We invite you to share feedback and questions about the proposed calendars in the thread that applies to you and your child. 

The Wake County Board of Education on Tuesday discussed school calendars for the 2020-21 school year based on new legislation approved by lawmakers in late April. Watch the discussion.

We are proposing to start the year-round calendar school year in August because we believe it is likely there will still be public health restrictions in July. Here are the proposed start and end dates for all four tracks:

• Track 1 Start and End Dates: Aug. 3, 2020-June 3, 2021

• Track 2 Start and End Dates: Aug. 3, 2020-June 29, 2021

• Track 3 Start and End Dates: Aug. 3, 2020-June 29, 2021

• Track 4 Start and End Dates: Aug. 17, 2020-June 29, 2021 

The state legislature passed a law that includes a number of mandates we must follow in developing school calendars:

• We must add 5 Remote Learning (RL) days to all calendars.

• We must meet a minimum of 1,025 instructional hours in a year that includes the 5 Remote Learning days.

• We must add 5 individually separate and distinct full in-person instructional days that we are referring as Session Law days.

These provisions have created some constraints. For example, we had hoped we could have planned for more than five remote learning days to help meet instruction hour requirements. But that is not allowed under state law. Therefore we are proposing to add 15 minutes to each school day to meet the state requirement. Our other alternatives were up to six full school days held on Saturdays or shortening holiday breaks. We felt adding 15 minutes to the school day would be the least disruptive of those options.

Full proposed calendar.

The board expects to approve 2020-21 calendars on June 2.

Please share your feedback and questions below.

41 Responses

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Yamilka Cranford about 1 month ago

I like this proposed year round multi track calendar. It seems reasonable. I hope it gets approved.

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Dani Zipkin about 1 month ago

Can you please share which track you're on?

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Testra Driver about 1 month ago

It would be nice to see quarter ending dates on this calendar like you have on the others. Also would be nice to have a separate consolidated calendar like you used to post so those with kids on different calendars can easily see how they match up.

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Sharon Putney about 1 month ago

I'm a little concerned about the summer slide that we will now encounter for the first time. June 12 to August 3 is a long time off for those of us who are used to the year-round calendar. I am glad that you can add 15 minutes to each day instead of Saturday school though.

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Tara Fisher about 1 month ago

I’m very happy with the proposed year round schedule, based on all points that need to be considered. The changes are very reasonable and shouldn’t be too hard to adapt to. I also agree with the addition of 15 minutes to the school day rather than adding Saturdays.

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Dani Zipkin about 1 month ago

Can you please share which track you're on?

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Tara Fisher about 1 month ago

We are Track 1.

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Jennifer Champion about 1 month ago

We are track three which historically tracks out the last week of July, first week of August. With the new proposed schedule, track three begins when they would typically be tracked out. We have an annual vacation planned for that week and are concerned that we may not be able to receive a refund. Has there been thought to let track three begin when they normally would? Thank you.

3 Votes
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Greg Schaaf about 1 month ago

Yeah, we have a beach vacation planned for the first week of August and an overnight camp at Camp Kanata planned the following week. We’re not out more than $150 for Kanata but are essentially out $1000’s for the Beach trip. We’re splitting it with other family - so I guess one parent will go (with the other kid) and the other will stay home. What to do?!

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Dani Zipkin about 1 month ago

Same with us. We are not willing to miss our one week at the beach each year, which is the first week of August because that is track out for track 3, which we planned in fall 2019. We will still go.

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Dani Zipkin about 1 month ago

I know this was a major puzzle to piece together and I appreciate how hard it is, but I agree with the Track 3 problem - the first two weeks of school are now placed where track out would have been. Because those first couple of weeks of August are generally all we get of summer, we are committed to a beach trip that our family holds sacred. PLEASE swap with the following two weeks where the kids are, inexplicably, tracked out again... happy to do more remote learning time to make that work.

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Scott Lemke about 1 month ago

I am concerned about the deficit of hours compared to the traditional calendar. Even with the added 15 minutes per day, my calculations show our children will be getting about 5 fewer days of learning than traditional calendar students. I think the total hours need to be equitable between all calendars. This schedule barely meets the state minimum hours and is roughly 30 hours less than the traditional calendar. Any closure more than 2 or 3 days (hurricane, snow/ice, or virus) will require more than a shortened Saturday to stay above the minimum.

I would like to see 5 additional days added to the calendar. Three could be added to the end of the year (June 30-July 2 to complete that week) and 2 from holidays (choose 2 from Veterans Day, MLK, or April 2 for instance depending on track) and maybe a Saturday to balance out the schedule.

If the intent of the state law allowing schools to start 1 week earlier is to provide for more class time in the next academic year, we should be getting more time and not less as the proposed calendar offers.

1 Vote
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Scott. We understand your concern, and our staff and board members will be reviewing and considering this and all other feedback from parents as they work toward final calendars.

For some context, we did consider school on Saturday, shortening holidays and starting the school year prior to Aug. 3 as alternatives. The calendar committee ultimately felt that most parents would not prefer Saturday school or shortened holidays. And, as we have explained, we are not proposing to start school in July because of the likelihood that public health protections would be in place that would make school impractical. We also looked at adding additional remote learning days to year-round calendar schools above the five required by law, but we were advised the law requires us to schedule five Remote Learning days but prohibits scheduling more than that.

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Scott Lemke about 1 month ago

Hi Matt, Thanks for your reply. Overall, I think the proposed schedule is pretty good considering the constraints. I agree with not starting the school year any earlier, and prefer not having school on Saturday or shortening holidays. Can you provide the actual number of hours the traditional and year round students will be in session? Are there reasons the 2020-2021 school year could not be pushed into July 2021 other than it would delay the 2021-2022 school year?

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Katherine Green about 1 month ago

Aside from a delayed schedule, what are social distancing measures that will be put in place when in person school returns? I didn't see where that information could be found. Thank you

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Chris Owen about 1 month ago

Two comments for the board:

  1. One thing we have been acutely aware of while doing remote learning is that our children need much more physical activity than a normal school day allows for. I urge the board and all the schools to consider using those extra 15 minutes for more play time. I think this is important for their physical and mental health. The whole COVID response right now is about physical health and that sentiment needs to carry forward into other aspects of our school planning.

  2. It would be better to decide something sooner than later. Like others here, we are on track 3, the proposed start date would normally be our first week out. Just days before this meeting, we put travel plans in place for what would have been our trackout. Slow decision making and lack of communication has been frustrating, more so that the need to change things. I think we all get that there will be change and are understanding.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi, Chris. Matt Dees here with WCPSS Communications. Thank you for this feedback. To your second point, we do expect the board to approve finalized calendars on June 2, and we will be sure to announce to everyone.

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Ann Marie Waters about 1 month ago

I understand the need for 15 minutes added to each day in order to comply with mandated hours in school. However, as a teacher at a school that already ends at 3:50pm (meaning students aren't cleared out until approximately 4:30pm), I am hoping that these 15 minutes will be applied to the starting time of schools. This will be a transportation problem because most elementary schools are the 3rd round of routes for bus drivers. Seeing as most elementary aged students have lost their focus and stamina far before 3pm, the idea of staying at school even later would be counter-productive. In addition, I would like to assert my agreement with the post about 15 minutes of physical/social emotional activity as opposed to academics. Please let this crisis we have been in guide decisions as to what 5-10 year olds really need.

3 Votes
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Gabrielle Rivera about 1 month ago

I totally agree with you on this! We have elementary kids that get out around 3:45, if they ride the bus they are usually not home until 4:15 (if all goes well) and we live around the corner from the school. That doesn't give a ton of time for a break before homework on days that they don't have activities let alone when they do.

I will admit that I don't know about the bus schedules enough to understand how that would impact things for the morning but I would love to see it looked at.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Ann Marie. We are reviewing all options regarding where the extra 15 minutes should go, including a slightly earlier start and later ending, taking into account the impact on transportation, staff and families.

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Yamilka Cranford about 1 month ago

I agree with Ann, the 15 minutes should be added at the beginning of the day, and NOT in the afternoon. As it is, by the time kids get home, take a break, they have no energy or focus to do homework . I can't imagine what it would be like, if they came home even later in the day. Please add the 15 in the morning, not in the afternoon. I also like the idea of those 15 minutes be added to play time. Thank you.

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Darla Lewis about 1 month ago

I totally agree, the 15 minutes should be added to the start of the day, NOT at the end of the day.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Darla, Matt Dees here with WCPSS Communications. Please see my response to Ann Marie above.

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DD DD about 1 month ago

We disagree with the delayed school start. Further, the 15min should be added to the start, not end of the day. My son (track 1) arrives home on the bus 4:30-4:45PM each day, which is already too late. Finally, we would like to understand the rationale for Remote Learning days added at the end of the quarter/beginning of track-out. So our kids would complete their exams & such at the end of the quarter, then have two days of Remote Learning at home, then start track-out? How are these days 'graded', or for attendance? Can the assignments be completed at any time during track-out?

1 Vote
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Testra Driver about 1 month ago

Excellent point! For some reason they didn’t list the teacher workdays and quarter end dates on the year-round calendar so it’s hard to get a full picture, but having the remote learning days just before tracking in does seem to make more sense than having them just after tracking out. It would create a great opportunity for review and pre-work so that when they came back to the classroom they would be ready to jump in

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi there. We are working now on teacher workdays for year-round. Will be part of the final calendars.

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Amy Huber about 1 month ago

I really like the amended calendar. I feel that the changes are good and have been done in the best way with a delayed start. I don't think it will matter when the 15 added minutes are added as the kids will be tired at the end of the day no matter when it starts.

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Julie Garofolo about 1 month ago

I realize the difficulty of rearranging the track out calendar. However, these changes create difficulty for my family. Previously, track 2 was a perfect schedule for us. Now, in order to take any family trips, we would have to miss multiple school days due to mine and my husband’s work schedules. Will there be an option to switch tracks? If not, will this be the new permanent schedule or will we be going back to the original track out schedule the following school year?

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Ja Powel about 1 month ago

I also really like the calendar suggested. The changes can work with having a delayed start and 15 minutes added to the calendar. I did see the comments how the 15 minutes might be added and seems to be the best for all grades from high school to preK. Having a plan done sooner than later could help people make arrangements for the changes.

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Victoria Torsiello about 1 month ago

I'd like to voice my support of this calendar as proposed. This was a nearly impossible task of balancing the new requirements with the safety of our kids and educators. While there seems to be a number of people who believe we should start back on time in July for various reasons, I for one strongly believe starting even a few weeks later is better for everyone involved.

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Heidi Blankenship about 1 month ago

We are a track 3 family and I'm echoing the concerns previously shared by other families. This proposed calendar change is puzzling. Track 3 is in session when we're normally out and out when we're normally in. Given that the infection rate continues to hover at 7% and parents need to work to provide for their families, I'd like to know why the board feels they can completely upend people's lives and rearrange an entire school schedule? We will move forward with our summer plans, so I hope the schools are willing to excuse a lot of absences. I'm not canceling our vacation because the school board decided to rewrite the entire calendar in May. What public health restrictions are going to be in place in July that will prevent school from opening on the 10th as previously planned? If kids can go to the pool, eat inside a restaurant, attend church, fly on a plane and go to camp, then there's no reason to push back the start of the new school year until August. Furthermore, adding 15 minutes to the school day is a ridiculous proposal to meet the new legislative mandate. This adds a huge burden to our already overworked and underpaid staff. Are they going to be compensated for the additional hours and days they are now expected to work? What about their teacher work days? As others have already mentioned, if 15 minutes are added to the schedule each day, the kids won't get home at a reasonable hour. Already it takes the bus over an hour to complete their route and most elementary schools are the third run for that driver. Please, please think about how your decisions impact the social, emotional and economic needs of teachers, staff and families. This is not a reasonable proposal. Please stick with the original multi-track schedule that was in place.

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Kelly Scofield about 1 month ago

I am a track 3 parent. It is perplexing that our start date is while we are normally out. I cannot say until we know safety precautions if we will be comfortable starting earlier. My main concern is the current law basing school funding on the first 10 days in seats. I’m hearing a lot of families aren’t going to change their vacation plans and I am very concerned if the board doesn’t wave that first 10 day funding indicator it will be a huge determinate To our schools. I also wonder if this will apply to traditional as well. If parents don’t feel safe they won’t send their kids until they do feel it is safe. The 10 day rule should be suspended for the 2020-2021 school year until Covid is controlled

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Cori Lenckus about 1 month ago

YR track 3 mom here. Ehike most if is are thrilled to have a later start day in August due to the situation, most of the parents from our entire track 3 are not thrilled with the start day for us as we were scheduled to be tracked out during the 2 weeks we now start. I personally am not able to get out of these obligations nor do I want to take this from my kids as we missed out on our entire bucket list trip in April. These plans were made last year. It is my opinion some of the rules need to be amended for the next school year such as the number of hours required in a school year. Let me explain. The extended 15 minutes while may not mean a lot to some, is a great burden for others. It creates problems for track out camps and after school care. As does the remote learning days. If the rules could be changed for session law days and remote learning days, why not just excuse the 1035 hours and make next school year an exception. For me, I work at a very prominent hospital with Covid patients. My family has been on strict quarantine for almost 4 months. My husband and I work opposite shifts so we don't have to worry with afterschool care or track out camps. That said, extending the school day 15 minutes are the 15 MINUTES I see my kids during the week. So those 15 minutes are a HUGE deal to me. While everyone has been home I have had to be homeschool teacher during the day and hospital employee in the evening. We have not had a vacation since last summer so I am not willing to take away their planned (for over a year vacation) in August because the start date was pushed in the middle of our normal track out. My family needs this break.

Secondly, how isn't possible to clean the school and keep them clean throughout the day? I have a child in a high risk group. As it is now cleaning lunch tables with water is appealing to me and already if concern and now we have Covid? And social distancing seems impossible I the classroom setting and at recess? What if a second wave hits as predicted in the fall? Are rules going to be bent then or if God forbid a student or their family member become stricken with the virus and have to quarantine for 14 days? What about those absences?

My point is there is going to be a need for GREAT flexibility this coming school year so to not be flexible is of great concern for parents.

Please reconsider the start date for track 3. Do not penalize us for things planned over a year in advance. Also please reconsider extending the 15 minute school days. Our children and families and parents who ate essential employees have been through so much and need this time off.

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Kelly Bishop about 1 month ago

Track 3 family - we are fine with the proposed calendar dates. We'll have to adjust our vacation plans as well, but I’m sure a lot of people are in the same boat regardless of which track they’re on.

We prefer adding 15 minutes to the school day vs Saturday school or taking away track out days. As our daughter is in middle school we prefer adding time to end of day since she starts earlier, but I get why elementary parents prefer beginning since they start later. Could you add 15 mins to the end of the day for middle & high school students and add 15 minutes to the beginning of the day for elementary school?

Thanks for taking in all the feedback and trying to accommodate everyone as best as possible!

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Maren Olsen about 1 month ago

Track 3 family - I'm not sure what the 20-21 school year will look like, but I'm assuming it will be some balance between remote and in-class learning. For that reason, I'm relieved to have the school start date pushed back to August to give more time to figure that out. But, like others suggested, we would prefer to retain the first 2 weeks of August as a Track 3 break.

Thanks for everything you are doing to plan and accommodate everyone!

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Nicole HerriottMardre about 1 month ago

WCPSS has been very diligent in communicating the steps and time lines of publishing the newly updated calendars. Unfortunately I have not seen any mention of the same focus and attention being made towards the plan for the process of the kids physically being in the school amid this Covid environment. Do you all plan to share your thoughts on this anytime soon?

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Nicole. Yes, this is our top priority, and we are in the planning process right now. We will share information just as soon as our plans are in place.

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Crystal Sierra about 1 month ago

I have yet to see any discussion on how we will be keeping our children or teachers safe. I see nothing about social distancing, nothing about wearing masks, nothing regarding the enormous amount of exposure we will be putting our children, our families, neighbors, bus drivers and janitors at risk. COVID-19 does infect children. I see nothing about how the schools will be cleaned daily. There are approximately 900 students in Pine Hollow Middle school, of which several elementary schools feed. We will be exposing our children to a much larger population and thus increasing the risk to every single family and employee of that school. Never mind those families that also have children in an elementary school or a high school. Wake County School System must begin a backup plan to allow for remote learning for those students who cannot attend school. Some children are already high risk, some parents are high risk, and sending their children to school will only increase their chance of a horrid outcome to this virus. Stop counting hours and spend time focusing on how to prepare teachers for remote learning. Real remote learning. You need to train the teachers, don't leave them to blindly navigate waters they were never asked to do prior. You have time to prepare now, so please do so. You must prepare for the onslaught of parents that refuse to put their children lives in danger.

1 Vote
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Crystal. This is of utmost concern to us as well, and we are in the planning process right now. We will share information about how we will keep everyone safe once our plans are in place.

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Kathe SizemoreHill about 1 month ago

What about putting them with traditional calendar? Also, how are the class sizes going to be handled and will parents have the option to home school e-learn to start, especially since that is also the start of flu season?

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Kathe SizemoreHill about 1 month ago

Sorry, I meant to add to the above that I’ll have an 8th grader on Track 3. And her brothers are in high school on traditional. I’m high risk and am concerned about the distancing , safety precautions, adequate learning time etc as mentioned above. To be honest, if a child in the school gets COVID-19 (which I pray doesn’t happen) we would immediately take our kids out. Would the school notify parents in that event?

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