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.

A recent state law includes several mandates that we must follow:

• Traditional Calendar First Day: Aug. 17, 2020; Last Day: June 10, 2020 

• 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, traditional calendar teachers will have five fewer teacher workdays this year under this proposal to allow for the five required in-person instruction days known as the Session Law days.

We also are proposing two days off for teachers and students designated as Calendar Out (C) days. 

Full proposed calendar.

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

Please share your feedback about this proposed calendar below.

27 Responses

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Testra Driver at May 21, 2020 at 6:20pm EDT

Have you considered adding a few minutes to each instructional day in order to have enough hours reclaim some of the teacher work days, as well as help with matching up the bus schedules for the year round schools? It appears traditional schools have about 10 more school days than year round, so this would make the schedules more equitable as well as possibly add some banked time in case of inclement weather.

3 Votes
 
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Dionne Glast at May 21, 2020 at 7:23pm EDT

I would like to understand why Remote Learning isn't being implemented at the beginning of school year, particularly since there are uncertainties around Covid19

9 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 4:49pm EDT

Hi Dionne. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. That is a specific requirement in the recent state law.

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Elaine Smith at May 21, 2020 at 7:23pm EDT

It seems unfair to require teachers to have additional instructional days with neither increased pay nor additional time to prepare — in fact they have 5 fewer workdays! For the remote learning days, I hope they are at least able to work from home so they can help their own kids rather than have to take leave or pay someone else to provide remote learning for them. If not, can we provide teachers with additional leave days to cover this? We are asking for teacher burnout and churn.....

7 Votes
 
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Elaine Smith at May 21, 2020 at 7:31pm EDT

Will remote learning days include hard copy materials provided by the teachers, instead of just electronic resources and lessons? The materials could be passed out and collected at school. Our kids don’t need to stare at screens any more! It’s bad for their brains and eyes.

6 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 11:52am EDT

Hi Elaine. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. Thank you for this feedback. Staff and board members are reviewing this forum, so we appreciate the input. We do not know exactly what form Remote Learning will take in 2020-21 but we are working on that now. We are required to submit a Remote Learning plan to the state by July 20, which will contain more detail.

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Dale Brown at May 21, 2020 at 8:05pm EDT

This feels really unfair to teachers to ask them to start the academic year with only TWO planning days, especially when they are ending this academic year without more time in the classrooms already. You should pay the teachers for their planning time to get ready for our students. They will either work a LOT on their own time, or be ill prepared to start the year. There hasn't been any training for teachers to learn to be online teachers so training in this area should be paid days in addition to their regular planning days. You are doing our students and teachers a disservice by not properly training teachers OR giving them enough planning days. This is incredibly short sighted on the part of WCPSS. Give teachers training and planning days so they can be prepared to teach our students. Students and teachers are already struggling; why do more harm and short-change both? Two planning days and zero training is irresponsible.

3 Votes
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Kameron Fulp at May 22, 2020 at 2:40pm EDT

Teachers DEFINITELY need more time to prepare and to have Teacher Workdays as well. They already have to do much of their work at home because they do not get the necessary planning time. To have them rush to get prepared is a diservice to both them and the to the children they will be teaching.

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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 3:19pm EDT

Hi Dale. Matt Dees here with WCPSS Communications. We are looking at adding a third teacher workday prior to the start of traditional calendar school. Unfortunately we are limited in the number of workdays available over the course of the year. That's because we are having to propose reducing teacher workdays by five, from 17 to 12, because of the state requirement to add five additional in-person instructional days.

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Cyndi Soter ONeil at May 21, 2020 at 8:39pm EDT
  1. I realize that the NCGA isn't providing teacher salaries for additional workdays, which puts WCPSS in a bind, but I hate for teachers and administrators to have to start the year with only two workdays to prepare. Given the amount of districtwide training that might be required to manage potential online learning or hybrid instruction models, that seems truly inadequate.

  2. What consideration will be made for students whose family schedules will prevent them from being at school the week of Aug. 17, given long-standing plans made according to the previously approved calendar? Any chance for virtual classes that week to allow access for students who are traveling? Seems like using the five remote learning days for that first week could be a great way to meet the RL requirement, give teachers and students a chance to catch up/set up for the new year, and provide access regardless of circumstance.

  3. What consideration will be made for students who are at greater risk or whose family members are at greater risk from exposure to the virus? Will they have the option to remain enrolled but access courses virtually?

  4. If/when schools are required to close campus and switch to remote learning because of outbreaks or concerns about the virus, will schools be in a position to pivot quickly into online instruction? And will those days count as full school days, regardless of the "seat time" hours? Would those days then replace any later scheduled RL days on the calendar, converting previously scheduled RL days into on-campus days when possible?

8 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 4:49pm EDT

Hi Cyndi. Matt Dees here with WCPSS Communications. Will try to answer at least some of your questions. 1. We are looking at adding a third teacher workday prior to the start of traditional calendar school. Unfortunately we are limited because their workdays are proposed to be reduced by five because of the state requirement to add five additional in-person instructional days. 2. The legislature specifically prohibited the legislature from scheduling remote learning the first week of school. 3. We are planning now for return to school, and of course protecting health and safety is the top priority. We know it is critical we share information about this as soon as possible. 4. Those are good questions. We are developing a Remote Learning plan that must be submitted to the state by July 20. The plan will include how we will address gaps in technology access. During this initial phase of Remote Learning we have made great strides in expanding access to devices and the Internet. We also are hopeful that these recent weeks of Remote Learning will make any such transition smoother.

1 Vote
 
 
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Traci Lamar at May 21, 2020 at 10:12pm EDT

Has consideration been given to parent schedules? Remote learning days will create hardship for families with dual working parents, some of us have jobs that make taking days off challenging. If a stay at home order is in place, that resolves the concern, but if not this becomes an arbitrarily imposed hardship. Any notion parents can just work from home and supervise remote learning is flawed, online learning does not fit the learning styles of many children so much parent support is needed.

4 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 11:25am EDT

Hi Traci. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. We certainly understand your concern. The 5 Remote Learning days are a requirement of the state law, so we simply don't have any flexibility in that regard.

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Maria Dorazio at May 21, 2020 at 11:46pm EDT

What is the science based plan for preventing the spread of Covid 19 in schools? Masks? Frequent handwashing? Social distancing?Temperature testing?Covid 19 tests? Antibody tests? Ability to contact trace and isolate cases that pop up? Enhanced cleaning of the school? Is there money for any of that?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to provide students who don’t have them with at home resources (computers) so that we can keep distance learning until we can reopen safely?

Kids might have a low fatality rate but they can certainly transmit the virus back home to their families and the community in general, including vulnerable people in danger of dying should they get this virus. Opening schools could explode the virus cases and overwhelm our hospitals.

4 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 11:26am EDT

Hi Maria. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. This is good feedback. We are currently working on the plan for reopening schools, which includes considering safety measures. We don't have answers just yet, but we understand that it's critical to share this information as soon as possible, and we are committed to doing that.

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Maria Dorazio at May 22, 2020 at 11:48am EDT

Thanks Matt. Don't forget to include outdoor learning in your discussions. There are many schools, like my son's- Joyner Elementary, that have a public park right next door. Spreading out is much easier outdoors. Weather can be an issue but there are many ways to deal with that, umbrellas, raincoats, plenty of water for hot days, heavy coats for winter, etc. Thanks for all your hard work to get our kids back to school safely!

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GWTH Brown at May 22, 2020 at 12:47am EDT

How will it work for educators that have children on different calendars, especially if staggering children are up for consideration---would those educators be able to complete remote learning at home with their children that are on a staggering schedule? Will educators be required to take leave and receive no pay to assist their own children during the remote learning days? Parents that are essentially workers will have difficulty finding a place for their child---it defeats that purpose of maintaining safe schools because they will be probably put their children in a camp that may not even help with remote learning, exposing them to more germs that they can bring back to the school.

2 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 4:44pm EDT

Hi there. Matt Dees with WCPSS Communications. We are still working through what Remote Learning will entail for staff members. A Remote Learning Plan, covering all facets of how we plan to deliver remote instruction, is due to the state by July 20.

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Julie Bullock at May 22, 2020 at 7:22am EDT

We thank WCPS for the opportunity to comment on the proposed calendars for 2020-21. In general, the approach appears overly optimistic with regard to the amount of time scheduled and the realities that will be COVID-19 in the fall (combined with seasonal flu).

Our comments are the following: 1) Understood that SL is mandated by the state, but also has imposes on families that have been already quite imposed upon this spring and summer. Our children will not be returning to campus this week due to a few reasons; the risk of COVID likely still will be high and return to school will be too risky, and we already had a vacation planned. This is the only vacation we will (hopefully) still be able to take in 2020. We would participate in SL if it was a RL week, but curiously, the law mandated that RL could not start until Aug 24th.

2) RL shouldn’t be randomly scheduled. RL should be viewed as an ease-in plan to the year or a backup plan in case of emergency. The kids should be in school unless there is a statewide health risk that precludes them from being at school. If the risk of COVID drops there is no justified reason to make children learn at home at random points throughout the year. A RL day is a day parents will have to take off of work to be home with the children. It is the same as any other day off on the school calendar except we will be teaching our kids that day. Instead of scheduling RL days WCPS and schools should have a RL transition plan that outlines the steps to switch to RL quickly so that we do not experience the delays that we had the spring of 2020. This means all children need access to WiFi, all children need computer equipment, and teachers will need to be able to transition online the current curriculum. The county needs to have a plan to decide when/what will trigger RL.

3) WCPS should come up with a system that allows for children to learn in-person and RL at the same time. This will allow for reduced infection rates from kids who have been exposed or are sick by encouraging them to stay home and stay on track whilst not infecting others. Our children are kids of an ER doctor so this is a true concern for our family and we are not sure how or when it will be safe for our kids to return to school. This will also assist with social distancing if we are mandated to have smaller class sizes. An option to RL or (ideally) video stream classes for kids who need to be at home would be ideal and forward thinking given this new normal.

4) Scheduled teacher workdays on Tuesday Nov 3, Wednesday May 13. Days off in the middle of the week; you are generally expecting student attendance to drop on Monday Nov 2 or remainder of the week for the May 13th date. Noting that in November there is only one week that month where children will be attending school M-F. Hap-hazard schedules are very difficult for kids to stay on track and for dual-working parents to manage. Shift teacher workdays to M or F’s or tag them onto holidays already scheduled so there is less disruption to the flow of the school week.

2 Votes
 
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Testra Driver at May 22, 2020 at 9:02am EDT

I’m curious as to why “Calendar Out” days were created rather than designating these teacher work days since it seems teachers are concerned about losing teacher work days. Or make those the RL day’s and give teachers 2 of their original work days back.

2 Votes
 
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Parent wcpss at May 22, 2020 at 10:51am EDT

The current remote learning was good from a materials stand point however, parents had to teach the kids all these lessons, especially for the kids who are in elementary and not yet self sufficient to just watch the videos or take the teacher given materials and learn by themselves is nearly impossible. This has impacted parents work. If it is remote learning then teachers should conduct remote/online classes for each subject and have live online teaching just as in class teaching. It is not fair that the parents have to sit and teach the kids. Remote learning has been handing over materials and thats it for elementary age kids. For Middle schoolers there have been some live classes but the work given does not justify the amount of time the teachers are actually teaching. So all in all the parents and students are doing a ton of work. In all honesty, parents are working round the clock to juggle teaching and working or some have taken a hit on their work or business to support the child. There is no grading for the remote learning work but if left untaught the child will loose the continuity in education and miss the concepts required to be learnt. Parents are not getting paid to teach and putting aside work to teach kids comes with a cost. If at all another outbreak happens of the virus and the stay at home orders go in place then the current remote learning approach needs to be improvised with active teacher classes and not just giving materials. Thank you for giving this forum to express hardships and viewpoints and hope that these will be considered.

3 Votes
 
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Erin de Freitas at May 22, 2020 at 11:48am EDT

What is the plan to keep kids safe from the virus? The recent CDC recommendations say in person learning places kids in a high risk category. With extreme mitigation (including kids 6 feet apart) they would fall into the “medium” risk category. How is wcpss going to fit entire classes of kids into a room and maintain 6 feet separation? Wcpss should offer an all online option to families with risk factors and who want to continue to be safer at home. This would free up space in the physical classrooms thus making everyone safer. Also, the recommendations are not feasible for elementary age kids. The current CDC recommendations encourage organizations to take into account the rate of community spread when planning openings. Wake County has one of the highest rates of community spread in NC.

2 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at May 22, 2020 at 2:36pm EDT

Hi Erin. This is Matt Dees from WCPSS Communications. We are currently working on the plan for reopening schools, and we are reviewing multiple options to ensure schools meet state health guidelines. We understand that it's critical to share this information as soon as possible, and we are committed to doing that.

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Ruth DiGiovanni at May 23, 2020 at 9:42am EDT

Is there any chance the SL start date could remain? Also echo the concern mentioned earlier about scheduling a WD on random day Nov 3 Tues and May 13 Thur, can these not be amended to align more with end or beginning of week or closer to a scheuled holiday?

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Scott Lemke at May 23, 2020 at 9:13pm EDT

Hi Ruth, Tuesday November 3 is Election Day. As many schools are used as polling locations, it makes sense to not have school in session that day. I don’t know about May 13.

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Stephan Pageau at May 23, 2020 at 10:50am EDT

It seems that this calendar has minor tweaks from the 2019 calendar to say that the county is responding to the crisis, nothing truly novel here. There was a lot of money invested in remote learning so why not considering that a reality for Q1 and Q2? Practice makes perfect. Remote learning worked quite well for my child who is in high school, with live classes through Google classroom. I know that kids in elementary school and beginning of middle school probably have a tougher time staying focused during remote learning sessions... So one idea could be to have older kids in remote learning sessions while having younger kids in the classrooms; continuing with this scheme, middle schools and high schools could be reclaimed to teach younger kids and thus provide additional space to kids to ensure social distancing is achieved. I don't see anything proposed that guarantees kids' safety. It is business as usual with 100% occupancy! what a shame. And what about buses, same ole thing? I just declined the bus for my child, one less place for her to go and catch the virus... Is anyone entering school going to receive a temperature check? Probably not, costs too much, right? So while the rest of the adults won't gather in large groups and would get enhanced checks in work places, it is ok for kids to do so? And bring the virus back home? The remote learning days are a joke, is that when state officials expect the virus to show up? The virus will show up for sure and it will be on its own timeline. When this happens, what will be next? Close schools where outbreaks occur or close all schools? this will lead to unbelievable disruption for kids. Instead of taking such chances with bad odds of success to begin with, why not be remote as I have already stated? It will happen anyways, eventually, but after casualties unfortunately. I am sure there are parents such as I who aren't comfortable sending their kids to overcrowded schools while no vaccine is available; how are these parents accommodated in any way? Do they have no choice but fear daily that they are sending their kids in arms' way? A parent is never supposed to be ok with that, why now? Odds of problems are small, like flu or car accident... I have heard this before but the coronavirus will be the largest contributor to issues in the upcoming year. Let's talk about other types of vaccinations that some parents neglected to give to their kids during the crisis... Is the county going to require an up-to-date vaccination card before starting the school year? The county officials seems so unprepared to give something back to lawmakers by early June... I see very little overall, with no novelty in ideas and planning, no backup plans. I guess it is fly by the seat of your pants like the rest of this country's officials! Sad. So please tell me what the consequence is for having a kid stay home and miss school for 1 year? This should be allowed. Or you could even offer a choice of face-to-face while others get the information remotely, live or pre-recorded. Again, one more idea that one could think of and discuss...

1 Vote
 
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Rachel Lehman at May 27, 2020 at 3:06pm EDT

I would like to see remote learning (RL) including video teaching and online assignments available during the 2020-2021 school year for all core subjects for students. If we consider the necessary quarantine times for people who are ill with symptoms of COVID-19 AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS, students will need access to RL as the student may need to be out of school for 14+ days at a time. Students may also need to stay home more often with mild symptoms (cough, congestion) due to COVID-19 concerns when they may have gone to school with these symptoms in the past. If RL learning is available to all students throughout the year, students will be more likely to stay at home while ill or when a family member is ill because they will have access to the necessary learning materials for minimally their core subjects. If not already addressed, WCPSS will need to address their absence policy for students so that staying home to prevent the spread of disease does not negatively affect students.

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