Darlington County Board of Education approves 2021-22 academic calendar

The Darlington County Board of Education has approved an academic calendar for the 2021-22 school year after much discussion and surveying of employees and families. The first day of school for all students will be Monday, Aug. 9. The first day for teachers will be Monday, Aug. 2. The new calendar will allow the district to complete the first semester prior to the Winter Break, a feature educators and families have long desired. This will mean that final exams for classes taken in the first semester will be given before students go on break. That option has previously proven extremely difficult to accomplish due to a state-mandated later start date. Under the new calendar, the school year will also end prior to Memorial Day on May 30. The board approved the calendar after the Darlington County School District (DCSD) surveyed families and employees with three options in February. The district again surveyed employees after narrowing the options down to two. In the final survey, 865 DCSD employees voted, and 53 percent chose the option eventually approved by the board. This early start calendar allowed DCSD to also build in a couple of mental health breaks in February and March, typically a grinding stretch of time for schools with no breaks. Students and teachers will now have a few days off in February. Students will see two days off in March, while teachers also gain a day of rest. Additionally, the district will be closed on Good Friday in April prior to Spring Break. That day is a highly requested option each year that became possible with the earlier start in this calendar.

Also included in the calendar are state-mandated inclement weather days.

Those days will be Feb. 23, March 18 and May 31.

The district plans to use digital learning on inclement weather days and does not anticipate any change in the current calendar.

2021 – 2022 Calendar:

July 5 …. No school: Independence Day holiday

Aug. 2-6 …. Professional Development

Sept. 6 ….. No school: Labor Day

Oct. 11 ….. End of 1st quarter (45th day)

Oct. 12 …. Professional Development

Nov. 24-26 …. No school: Thanksgiving

Dec. 17 …. Early dismissal, End of 2nd quarter (45th day)/1st semester

Dec. 20-31 …. No school: Christmas/Winter Break

Jan. 3 …. Professional Development

Jan. 4 ….. Students return to school

Jan. 17 …. No school: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Feb. 18 …. Professional development

Feb. 21-23 …. Schools closed, district offices open

Mar. 14 …. End of 3rd quarter (45th day)

Mar. 17 …. Professional development

Mar. 18 …. Schools closed, district offices open

Apr. 15-22 …. Spring Break for students, schools staff

Apr. 15-20 …. Spring Break for 12-month employees

Apr. 21-22 …. Schools closed, district offices open

May 25 …. Early dismissal/Professional development

May 26 …. Early dismissal/Professional development, End of 4th quarter/2nd semester/year

May 27 …. Professional development

May 30 …. No school: Memorial Day

Author: Rachel Howell

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