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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Pitt County proposes new schedule

TUES. | 1-31-23 | NEWS

     For the Pitt County School (PCS) system, the schedule for the 2022–2023 academic year is different from previous years. Exams will be given this year immediately following winter break, which is the first time since 2020 that this option has been used. Following the choice, the community, parents, staff, and students have actively voted to return to the previous school year's schedule with a few changes.

     “This year’s calendar was impossible to end the first semester before exams, since our first day of school was required to start late, deemed by August 26th falling on a Monday which in turn would not permit us to start before that day,” PCS board member Melinda Fagundus said. 

     Option two will give students the chance to complete their exams before the winter break and return to their new classes in the second semester whereas option one begins the school year at a later date with exams following the winter break.

     The fact that many high school students attend nearby community colleges for classes was a major contributing factor to the change.


Photo from the Pitt County Schools Website

     “Prior to this change, many high school students would still be required to attend their college courses while the high school had break and likewise be in high school classes when the college had break,” Fagundus said.

     Two voting options have been put forth for the 2023–2024 school year because the schedule for the 2022–2023 school year was necessary for PCS to fulfill the minimum number of required curriculum days.

     “There are usually two to three options which are written by senior staff and presented to the board,” Fagundus said. 

     The options are presented to the board in November of 2022, and in the spring of 2023, the board will vote on the chosen course of action.

     “Students are always included in voting,” Fagundus said. “I'm not sure that students are aware that this is an option.”

     Students can participate in school board decisions, but this year, voting began in December 2022 and will significantly influence the board's final decision. The options for the schedule are listed on the PCS’ website and Facebook page. On Dec. 2, 2022, a poll was published on the PCS’ Facebook page for users to vote.

     “The survey is available until January 6th at 5 P.M.,” Fagundus said. “Voters are identified as being community members, parents, staff, and students.”

     After voting is completed, the school board will meet in the spring of 2023 to make a final decision regarding the 2023–2024 school year calendar. Although voting has just begun, a sizable majority is in favor of one choice.

     “Those I have asked, overwhelmingly, are in favor of option two,” Fagundus said. 

     On Jan. 10, 2023, the Pitt County School Board assembled; during the public comments period, the calendar voting was discussed. Speaking on behalf of the teachers, the president of the Pitt County Association of Educators asked that option two be chosen.

     “I again encourage students, parents and staff to email or call the offices of Representative Reeder and Senator Kandie Smith,” Fagundus said.

     The board will meet on Jan. 23, 2023, when it is anticipated that the poll findings will be made public and the board can then discuss their options.

     “Filled voicemails and email boxes speak louder than the Board of Education,” Fagundus said.

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