FORT MILL TOWNSHIP --Thinking about planning a family getaway in 2010 on Memorial Day or Labor Day?
Better think again.
An amended Fort Mill School District calendar means next year's student holidays are limited and subject to change when it comes to inclement weather and make up days. At issue: The outcry Fort Mill School Board members received over mandated class attendance on Memorial Day and days after graduation this year.
"We took a second look at the existing calendar based on recent weather," Jan Smiley, school board chairwoman, said after the meeting. "Realizing the impact the recent weather has had on families with our make-up days, we had the opportunity to make improvements to the calendar."
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This year, six days were designated weather make-up days, but leaders were reluctant to chip away at students' spring break.
"We protect so much on our (school) calendar that there's no options," school board member Patrick White said during the board's monthly meeting Monday.
School board members, with the exception of Chantay Bouler, approved an amended calendar for the 2009-2010 school year. The move means Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break are guaranteed.
Nothing else is promised.
"Everything on the calendar that is a student holiday except Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring breaks is a potential weather make-up day," Smiley said.
And there's another repercussion:
"Good Friday would no longer be protected as well as President's Day," Smiley said.
Also not protected are Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day and Memorial Day , she said.
Board member Wyndie Havnaer said the amended calendar saves the celebrated winter and spring breaks.
"It protects the three times people travel," Havnaer said after the meeting. "It treats the other holidays equal."
Still, Bouler took issue with the amendment before the board gave its approval.
"We're still protecting stuff," she said. "That's why I disagree."
The state requires school districts to designate three bad weather days. Fort Mill officials designated six days, including Memorial Day and June 8. Students will attend classes Memorial Day and days after graduation to make up the most recent inclement weather days, including March 2.
Under the 2009-2010 calendar, make-up days fall on teach workdays, which didn't sit well with Superintendent Keith Callicutt.
"My recommendation would be to leave (teacher) work days out of it," he said.
Teacher work days are slated for Oct. 23, March 19, May 31 and June 4, according to the new calendar. School is slated to end June 3, the day before a potential weather make up day, the calendar shows.
"We just need to have these days because now we're looking at going (to school) after graduation," board member Diane Dasher said.
The 2009-2010 school calendar is expected to debut this week on the district's Web site.
In other board business, members considered a request to increase school meals, the first potential hike in at least a year.
"If we don't make changes, there's a potential for a deficient in 2009-2010," Smiley said of cafeteria funding.
The board hopes to offset that deficiency by increasing lunch to $1.75, said Linda Hill, food service supervisor. Secondary and high school lunches would increase to $2 for regular lunch and $2.65 for the combo meal, Hill said. The breakfast prices will not change, according to the proposal.
The board plans to take a second look at cafeteria expenses and revenues in the coming months.
"I don't want somebody's child starving because they (parents) can't afford lunch," Bouler said.