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Hoping for normal, LCPS sets 2021-22 school calendars

The dates are set for what everyone – from students and parents to teachers and principals – hope will be a more normal school year beginning in August.

The 2021-2022 traditional school calendar, which applies to all LCPS schools except Lenoir County Early College High School, largely follows the model of pre-pandemic calendars, adhering to a multitude of state requirements and absent any of the Covid-related directives that make the current school calendar an outlier.

“Many districts including ours held off on calendar approval in anticipation the General Assembly would mandate remote learning days or allow schools to open early as they did last year in response to Covid. We don’t believe there will be any message from the General Assembly at this time,” said Associate Superintendent Frances Herring, who coordinates the calendar selection process.

School is scheduled to begin for students on Monday, August 23, in accordance with state law, and the academic year is scheduled to end with a half-day of school on Wednesday, June 1. In between are the usual holidays – Labor Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Memorial Day – and breaks built around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter that are virtually identical in length and configuration to earlier traditional calendars.

Graduation Day at Kinston High, North Lenoir and South Lenoir high schools for the Class of 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, June 4.

While the traditional school calendar has, for the past several years, been shaped to align as closely as possible to that of Lenoir Community College – a nod to the number of LCPS students enrolled in college courses – the calendar for Lenoir County Early College High School is virtually overlaid on LCC’s.

Classes start for Early College’s high school students on Monday, August 9, and the last day of school for underclassmen is Friday, May 13. Graduation is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4.

Both the traditional and Early College calendars for 2021-2022 are posted on this website.

Every year, LCPS employees get a voice in the calendar development process by choosing among several options. This year, about 80 percent of employees voted for one of three possible traditional calendars. Seventy-eight percent of them picked the calendar configuration presented to the Lenoir County Board of Education for review in February and approved by the board this month.

“That option won in a landslide,” Herring said.

The 2021-2022 traditional calendar meshes state rules for setting opening and closing dates, for instructional hours, for teacher workdays and other requirements with the district’s desire to finish the first semester and high school exams before the Christmas vacation.

For the fourth year, the school year for teachers begins with nearly two weeks of workdays typically devoted to professional development workshops organized by the district. Teachers go back to work for the coming school year on Tuesday, August 10.

Other key dates in the 2021-2022 traditional calendar include:

·  Wednesday, Nov. 24 – First day of Thanksgiving holiday. Classes resume Monday, Nov. 29.

·  Monday, Dec. 20 – First day of Christmas holiday for students and 10-month employees. Classes resume Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022.

·  Thursday, April 14 – First day of Easter holiday for students and a workday for teachers and school staff. Classes resume Monday, April 25.

Every month of the school year has a work day or holiday, a feature Herring described as a hedge against weather-related interruptions as well as a needed break in the routine for students and teachers.