Could Georgetown County schools begin the academic year earlier in August? That idea was brought up during the Nov. 19 school board work session meeting.
Executive Director for Human Resources Doug Jenkins said Pickens County approved starting the 2020-21 school year on Aug. 10, with teachers reporting on Aug. 3.
“Several state school districts have petitioned the state board for an earlier start date,” Jenkins said. He went on to say, “We would like to see how this works with the other school districts that have been granted this petition before we would do something like that in our district.”
During the meeting school board temporarily suspended school board Policy ICA, which requires the district to create a three-year school calendar.
“Generally we present a three-year calendar, that’s what policy dictates,” Jenkins said. “We are asking instead of a three-year calendar, is to present a one-year calendar in Jan. Then once we see how the other school districts and the public have reacted to the ones who have asked to start early, then the following year we would come before you to present a three-year calendar.”
Jenkins said, “The district has discussed using e-learning days instead of the mandatory three makeup days that we would have to create a calendar.” Also, Jenkins said that by starting earlier, students could be finished by Memorial Day.
Superintendent Dr. Randy Dozier said that while he is in favor of starting a few days earlier, he wouldn’t propose starting as early as other districts like Pickens.
“We tend to start (school) a little later like Horry for a variety of reasons,” Dr. Dozier said. “I don’t know that this board ever expressed an interest of starting Aug. 3 or 4; that’s a little early. I wouldn’t mind starting a few days earlier mainly because of the hurricane season.”
In other business:
After the Georgetown City Council unanimously approved a resolution at the Nov. 14 meeting to enter into a “tax increment financing intergovernmental agreement” with the Georgetown County School District, the school board came back from an executive session and voted to approve the measure.
TIFs allow municipalities to divert property tax revenue away from typical uses to instead pay for projects related to economic development and revitalization. That includes tax revenue normally meant for the school district or county. Getting the school district to sign off on allowing the city to allocate a portion of their designated revenues was a big key to moving the city’s plan forward.
The next regular board meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the J. B. Beck Administration and Education Center.