top of page

School District's Proposed Modified Calendar Moves to Public Input Phase

Daniel Prince

Online survey available through April 15 to give district feedback

Over the past few months, the Union County School District has been exploring the idea of moving to a modified school calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. They have already solicited feedback from teachers, administrators, and other staff members, and they have talked with other school districts who use a modified calendar to find out more about the model, along with its advantages and challenges. Now, the district wants your feedback. They have released a fact sheet answering frequently asked questions about the modified calendar along with a sample of what a modified calendar might look like. After reviewing those documents, there is a survey to gauge the community’s interest in exploring such a modified schedule. The survey will be available until April 15, and anyone residing in Union County may complete the survey, though the district asks for only one completed survey per household.

A modified calendar would contain the same number of school days for students and teachers, currently 180 and 190, respectively. The difference lies in when breaks occur during the year. Currently, summer vacation lasts nearly 10 weeks, with a nearly two-week Christmas break and a one-week spring break. A modified calendar would have a 6-7-week summer break, a lengthy Christmas break that would fall at the end of the second nine weeks and could last up to three weeks, and two-week intersession periods after the first and third nine weeks. According to the sample calendar the district provided as an example, school might begin in mid-July, with the fall intersession period at the end of September and beginning of October. The Christmas break would occur the last two weeks of December, with an additional intersession week at the beginning of January. The spring intersession break would be at the end of March and beginning of April, and school would end at the end of May. Again, that is just an example of how a modified calendar might look.

Potential benefits to a modified calendar include research showing a shorter summer break can help prevent the “summer slide”, where student skills are reduced over lengthier breaks, meaning less time is needed for review at the beginning of the year. The lengthier intersession breaks are associated with reduced burnout by students and teachers, as well as increased attendance. This can also allow families to schedule vacations to popular destinations during times of the year with reduced attendance and cooler weather. It provides opportunities for additional academic support. Students who need extra help can be identified early in the year and provided help so they don’t have to wait until the end of the year to catch up. The example calendar lists three days per intersession period where remediation could be offered, and the students would still have a week and a half off. It also allows time for arts and STEM programming, gifted and talented enrichment programs, and career exploration during the intersession periods, as well. Crucial for high school students, the modified calendar allows for equal semesters for high school subjects without having to carry the semester over past winter break. The school district states it does not anticipate a modified calendar would have any negative impact on athletics or band programs, and food service programming would still be in place with a modified calendar. It also would not conflict with AP courses.

The main challenges the district anticipates is a resistance to change from a 10-week summer break to a shorter 6-7-week period. Childcare scheduling challenges are also anticipated, which is part of the reason the district would wait until at least the 2023-2024 school year to implement such a schedule, to allow time to work through those challenges. Greenwood Districts 50,51, and 52, along with the Edgefield and McCormick County school districts already use a modified schedule, and the district has been talking with each of them during this process. Links to those districts’ modified calendars can be found on the FAQ sheet. We have posted copies of the FAQ, example calendar, and survey to our WBCU Facebook page. You can also find them on the district’s website at

no audio
00:00 / 01:04
bottom of page