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Aiken County parents react to plans for changing school calendar

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Big changes could be coming to Aiken County schools.

Right now, the district says it’s considering a new calendar. The idea is to send your kids to school year-round and add more breaks. Parents, if you’re wondering what happens to that annual summer vacation, you’re not alone.

Summer break isn’t going anywhere, but it could be getting shorter. This is a look at the calendar we’re accustomed to in Aiken County:

The last day of school in early June with the kids off until mid-August.

Here is a look at the kind of calendar they’re considering:

You can see the last day of school pretty much stays the same. Kids just head back toward the end of July rather than mid-August. So it’s a shorter summer break, but you’d trade that for more breaks year-round.

For parents, the past two school years have brought a constant state of change.

“Ummm, crazy because of everyone in quarantine and home full time was not ideal with us working form home as well,” said Leslie Enfinger, an Aiken County parent.

And things could soon change again for the school district.

“I agree with it,” she said.

Several schools in the CSRA are already using a modified calendar like the one proposed in Aiken County. McCormick County is one of those places.

“I think the kids spend two months after summer break to catch up form the summer with everything that they missed, so I think this is going to be great,” said Enfinger.

Students would start school in July rather than August. They’d be in school for nine weeks and then they’d get a two-week break. The end of school would be around the same time. Summer break would be a few weeks shorter.

“I mean, it’s going to be just the same. I think it will be better for everyone to get more breaks throughout the year,” Enfinger said.

The goal of this idea is to reduce burnout, the summer slide, and offers extra academic help to students who may be falling behind.

“They kind of check out right before summertime so that will keep them engaged and this will give them a nice brain break,” she said.

For child care, the district would work with community partners and after-school programs to have them line up with this new calendar for parents.

“Everyone is going to step up and everyone will adapt like they have all this time and like they do for the summertime for those three months,” she said.

District administrators have said they don’t anticipate this affecting sports or school events.

There’s still expected to be a winter break, and the Masters would line up with spring break in this format.

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