FCSD Board moves parent conferences

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County school board members will take a second look at the 2018-2019 academic calendar next month, with changes in parent conference days potentially impacting how next year’s calendar unfolds.

For the 2017-2018 school year, the school district decided to schedule spring parent conferences on Thursday instead of Friday, prompting questions from some board members.

“This week we’re out on Thursday [for conferences], but come back on Friday. Next year we are doing the same thing,” said board we are doing the same thing,” said board member Henry Miller. “Why did we do that rather than do [conferences] on a Friday?”

“We felt if we put it in the middle of the week, we’d have better participation,” answered Dr. Claudia Avery, the district’s deputy superintendent of academics. “It wouldn’t conflict with school performances or anything of that nature.”

Superintendent Dr. J.R. Green concurred.

“When you plan parent conferences on a Friday afternoon, many parents are busy planning their weekends,” Green said. “Many teachers are not excited about staying until 7 p.m. for parent conferences.”

Thursday was the first time conferences were scheduled in the middle of the week.

Board chairman William Frick said the board could use feedback from schools to determine whether to keep or abandon holding conferences on a Thursday.

“At least that way we’ll have more information to go on,” Frick said. “Surely Dr. Avery can tell us if there was a better participation rate this go-around than in the past. We don’t have that information to make that decision right now.”

Green cautioned about making too many changes to the calendar, noting it was developed with significant community input.

“There are lots of people who feel this is preferable. Sometimes we tend to forget that,” he said.

Board members approved first reading of the calendar by unanimous vote. Second reading will take place in May.

As it stands, the proposed calendar includes three makeup days for inclement weather in 2017-2018. Makeup days have been scheduled for Nov. 19, Feb. 18 and May 27.

Other calendar dates of note include:

  • First day for teachers: Aug. 13.
  • First day for students: Aug. 20.
  • Christmas break: Dec. 21 to Jan. 4.
  • Fall break: Nov. 19-23.
  • Spring break: April 15-19.
  • Last day for students: June 7.
  • Graduation: June 8.

State assessment dates have not yet been released.