Whiteville City Schools’ calendar for the coming year will have to be reworked to comply with recently passed legislation, Superintendent Marc Whichard told the Board of Education in Monday night’s business meeting.
Under previous rules, the WCS calendar qualified as year-round, which gave the school system some flexibility about start and end dates. The General Assembly “narrowed the definition to the point that we cannot use the current board-approved calendar we have for next year,” Whichard said. He called the change “unfortunate” and said he believed that “the calendar we had in place was beneficial to students.”
Another mandatory change is that five days of remote learning must be embedded into the calendar next year. Those days will occur on teacher workdays and will be in addition to the 180 student class days, the superintendent said. Whichard will bring another calendar to the June meeting for board approval. He said that the earliest allowable beginning date for all students will be Aug. 17.
Whichard also reported that construction, including soil analysis, is proceeding well at Whiteville High School and that he is impressed by the work of general contractor Clancy and Theys. With footings completed, builders are “beginning the structural phase,” he said, and they are working fast enough to make up for earlier rain-related delays.
The board held the meeting in a hybrid format, with board members Coleman Barbour, Greg Merritt and Anna Richardson attending by Zoom teleconference. Chair Kandle Rogers presided over the meeting in the WCS central office building. Present with her in the meeting room were board member Dave Flowers, Whichard, secretary Heather Dowless and attorney Will Callihan.
The board approved replacement of the cafeteria roof at Whiteville Primary School. It adopted COVID-19 spring semester grading procedures as set by the State Board of Education and approved a contract with Thompson, Price, Scott and Adams for continued auditing services.
The board also unanimously passed 22 minor technical revisions to policies ranging from employee pay and leave to student promotion and school bus idling. It received 20 other, more substantive policy changes for first reading, to be voted on next month.