FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Parents, students and Florence One Schools leaders are preparing for the new school calendar that’s been adopted for the 2020-2021 school year.
The calendar- billed as a modified year-round model- will have students in the classroom about two weeks earlier in August to make way for more time off throughout the year.
The school board approved the calendar for every school in the district last week.
“Continuous learning and then some refresh time is going to create an environment where we’re going to see even more growth,” Director of School Improvement Hayley Cagle said.
Cagle explained how the district is helping ease the transition to the new schedule.
She said daycare will be offered at elementary schools this year during the new break periods.
“We wanted to take that into account we wanted to be fair,” Cagle said. “So those students will have a daycare at school during the fall and the spring intercession. And this year that will be offered free.”
The district will also be lenient with parents and staff who had already booked plans in August.
“The first two weeks of August when we’re going to be coming in- we don’t normally come back then,” Cagle began. “We have agreed to excuse those days if they already have them booked.”
Spencer Scott heads up the non-profit group First Steps for Marion and Florence Counties. He’s been in touch with daycares, which he says are planning for the new schedule.
“We have spoken with our child care providers and they’re excited about it as well because it will give them the opportunity to have the kids during that time frame,” Scott said. “They are saying we’re gonna be ready during those days.”
Some parents remain on the fence.
“I’m for it and against it,” Vonnie McDonald said. She has an eighth grade son in the district. “High schoolers not being able to get a small time job during the summer to have that experience out in the real world.”
The district says the new system will make better use of classroom time and ease burnout on both teachers and students.
“I really hope once they get in the schedule and they see how it plays out they’re going to realize they do like the schedule and their students like the schedule,” Cagle said. “And that we are doing whatever we can to help their students learn and grow.”
You can view the schedule here: