New Hanover County Board of Education votes to send meeting notes, calendar options to committee for review

Only a month into the 2022-2023 school year, leaders in New Hanover County are discussing possible changes to the academic calendar.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Only a month into the 2022-2023 school year, leaders in New Hanover County are discussing possible changes to the academic calendar.

“Going all the way until almost the end of January to take exams after leaving for a whole two weeks for Christmas break -- it’s just going to be very damaging for the students in multiple ways,” said board member Judy Justice.

The discussion got heated at times as members of the Board of Education discussed student tests and time off around the holidays. The current calendar schools in the county are following has students taking exams*after returning from winter break and classes ending in June rather than May.

“I’m taking four AP classes and one honors class,” explains New Hanover High School junior Grayson Pinder. “Four of my classes will already have been done so it’s a lot of a hassle to come back to school when I could be doing things to better prepare for my college applications.”

Despite a public comment period not being on the agenda, several students and parents showed up in hopes of voicing their concerns.

“This was not a meeting for public comment,” said Board Chairperson Stephanie Kraybill during the meeting. “It was not noticed that way and I told them this was not a public input period. Call to the audience is only required at regular monthly meetings.”

“It was really frustrating coming from the student body because like some of the representatives talked about, we are on the receiving end of these decisions made,” said Pinder

As discussions among board members seemed to be going nowhere, Hugh McManus motioned to send the notes from Friday’s meeting to the calendar committee, including three potential calendars put together by school staff members.

“That includes the work days they’re so concerned about,” said Justice. “It also includes enough hours so legally, everything is absolutely fine. It also includes holidays so parents aren’t going to miss any days -- the same holiday schedule. I see no reason to not be looking at this really seriously.”

As for these passionate kids, their fight isn’t over. They hope the calendar committee recommends changes after its October meeting.

“I intend to be back at any of the follow-up meetings,” said Pinder. “I can speak for many of my student peers that they really wish to support this cause.”