- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Oct. 25—The Aiken County Public School District board voted on Tuesday night to amend the current academic calendar.
This modified calendar for the 2024-2025 school year was modeled after the current modified calendar for 2023-2024.
In the newest calendar, the first semester will be completed by winter break; the school year will end by May 31; fall, winter and spring breaks will last for two weeks; and the first day back for teachers after winter break will be considered a work day.
The proposed calendar was accepted in full by the board, with the exception of their decision to move Professional Development Day from Sept. 3 to Aug. 30. This updated calendar will be in effect for the 2024-25 school year.
A presentation was made by Eric Jeffcoat, assistant superintendent of the district's elementary schools, who showed the board data provided by parent and student surveys.
This information was used in the reconstruction of the calendar.
"We wanted to make sure we also got some input from all of our stakeholders about one of our major changes, which was the fall break," said Jeffcoat.
Immediately after this year's fall break, information was obtained through surveys taken by elementary, middle and high school student and parent advisory groups. Surveys were also sent out to all parents and all ACPSD employees.
Through these surveys, students were able to talk about the challenges that fall break presented to them. Some of these included having to re-learn rules and procedures, forgetting materials and interruption of sleep schedules. Parents echoed these challenges, stating that it was difficult for them to help their child get back into a routine. Some parents also pointed out the difficulties of finding childcare during the day.
Alternatively, these same groups were able to provide insight on the benefits of the break. Some of these positives, according to students, were the chance to catch up on homework, visiting family and friends, getting more sleep and "time to reset from school pressures."
Parents seemed to agree that the break was good for students' mental health and made some students "re-energized to go back." Sixty-four percent of parents who participated in the surveys said that fall break enhanced their child's preparedness to return to school, and 66% believe that the length of the break was "just right."
With the updated calendar, students will continue to receive two weeks off for winter, fall and spring break.