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Short Title: School Calendar Modification.



Representatives Henson, Setzer, Corbin, and Presnell (Primary Sponsors).

For a complete list of sponsors, refer to the North Carolina General Assembly web site.

Referred to:

Education - K-12, if favorable, Appropriations

February 8, 2017


AN ACT to provide additional flexibility to public schools in adopting their school calendars.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 115C‑84.2 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑84.2. School calendar.

(a) School Calendar. Each local board of education shall adopt a school calendar consisting of 215 days all of which shall fall within the fiscal year. A school calendar shall include the following:

(1) A minimum of 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction covering at least nine calendar months. The local board shall designate when the instructional days shall occur. The number of instructional hours in an instructional day may vary according to local board policy and does not have to be uniform among the schools in the administrative unit. Local boards may approve school improvement plans that include days with varying amounts of instructional time.time, including varying number of instructional hours in instructional days occurring in different semesters of the school year, and may vary the number of days per instructional semester if hours of instruction remain equivalent between semesters. If school is closed early due to inclement weather, the day and the scheduled amount of instructional hours may count towards the required minimum to the extent allowed by State Board policy. The school calendar shall include a plan for making up days and instructional hours missed when schools are not opened due to inclement weather. If a local board adopts a school calendar of less than 185 days of instruction, teachers employed for a 10‑month term who work or use annual leave or sick leave for the designated instructional days are deemed to have been employed the equivalent of 185 days of instruction and shall be compensated as if they had worked those days. Annual leave, sick leave, workdays, holidays, salary, and longevity for teachers who are employed at schools with instructional calendars of less than 185 days shall be equivalent to those of other teachers employed for the same number of months, respectively.


(d) Opening and Closing Dates. Local boards of education shall determine the dates of opening and closing the public schools under subdivision (a)(1) of this section. Except for year‑round schools, the opening date for students shall be no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26, August 10, and the closing date for students shall be no later than the Friday closest to June 11. On a showing of good cause, the State Board of Education may waive the requirement that the opening date for students be no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and may allow the local board of education to set an opening date no earlier than the Monday closest to August 19, to the extent that school calendars are able to provide sufficient days to accommodate anticipated makeup days due to school closings. A local board may revise the scheduled closing date if necessary in order to comply with the minimum requirements for instructional days or instructional time. For purposes of this subsection, the term "good cause" means that schools in any local school administrative unit in a county have been closed eight days per year during any four of the last 10 years because of severe weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures, or other emergency situations.

The required opening and closing dates under this subsection shall not apply to any school that a local board designated as having a modified calendar for the 2003‑2004 school year or to any school that was part of a planned program in the 2003‑2004 school year for a system of modified calendar schools, so long as the school operates under a modified calendar.

(e) Nothing in this section prohibits a local board of education from offering supplemental or additional educational programs or activities outside the calendar adopted under this section."

SECTION 2. G.S. 115C‑174.12(a)(4) reads as rewritten:

"(4) All annual assessments of student achievement adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C‑174.11(c)(1) and (3) and all final exams for courses shall be administered within the final 10 instructional days of the school year for year‑long courses and within the final five instructional days of the semester for semester courses. Exceptions shall be permitted to accommodate a student's individualized education program and section 504 (29 U.S.C. 794) plans and for the administration of final exams for courses with national or international curricula required to be held at designated times. A local board of education that has implemented a school calendar that concludes the fall semester prior to December 31 shall be permitted to administer assessments prior to the conclusion of that semester."

SECTION 3. G.S. 115C‑218.85(a)(1) reads as rewritten:

"(1) The school shall provide instruction each year for at least 185 days or 1,025 hours over nine calendar months."

SECTION 4. G.S. 115C‑238.53(d) reads as rewritten:

"(d) A cooperative innovative high school approved under this Part shall provide instruction each school year for at least 185 days or 1,025 instructional hours during nine calendar months, shall comply with laws and policies relating to the education of students with disabilities, and shall comply with Article 27 of this Chapter. The requirements of G.S. 115C‑84.2 shall not apply to the school calendar of a program approved under this Part."

SECTION 5. G.S. 115C‑238.66(1)d. reads as rewritten:

"d. The board of directors shall adopt a school calendar consisting of a minimum of 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction covering at least nine calendar months."

SECTION 6. G.S. 116‑239.8(2)c. reads as rewritten:

"c. The board of trustees shall adopt a school calendar consisting of a minimum of 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction covering at least nine calendar months."

SECTION 7. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee shall study local school administrative units that have successfully used calendar flexibility under G.S. 115C‑84.2 to hold semester exams prior to December 31 and shall report to the 2018 Regular Session of the 2017 General Assembly on its findings and recommendations.

SECTION 8. This act is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2017‑2018 school year.