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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is the state law regarding school calendars?'
Start date of the calendar can be no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and the end date no later than the Friday closest to June 11, unless the district has a weather related waiver. School must be in session a minimum of 185 days OR have 1,025 hours of instruction, and there must be 9 teacher workdays. Veteran’s day must be a holiday for all students and school personnel. For more visit the Department of Public Instruction.

2. How does a school system get a weather-related waiver?
All schools in North Carolina must adhere to the state's calendar laws (G.S. 115C-84.2) The State Board of Education (SBE) may waive the open and closing date requirement when a district's schools have been closed for a full day, 8 or more days per year during any 4 of the last 10 years. In short, the waiver allows the school year to start earlier in anticipation of closings due to inclement weather. SBE regulations allow a district to use the current year's closures to determine qualification for a waiver and approved waivers apply to the following school year.

According to § 115C-84.2, "the opening date for students shall be no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26, and the closing date for students shall be no later than the Friday closest to June 11."

However, when a weather waiver is granted, schools may open "no earlier than the Monday closest to August 19."

3. Who designs the calendar for each academic year?
A committee of 38 people comprising district personnel, school principals, teachers, parents and students meet to discuss key dates. This group approves a calendar to present to the Board of Education. The Buncombe County Board of Education votes on the calendar at a regularly-scheduled Board meeting.
4. What are early dismissal days? Is this a state requirement or a district requirement?
Early dismissal days have been requested by our teachers so that they have time to work when students are not in attendance. Teachers use this time for Professional Learning Communities, staff development, grade and report card preparation, and to hold parent-teacher conferences.

5. There is no snow in my district. Why can’t you close just the ones with snow or ice?
Due to isolated inclement weather situations, some attendance areas might close or have delays, while other unaffected areas will remain open. Generally, if the scheduling of more than two of our six districts must change, the entire system will be affected.

With schools such as PEP, Nesbitt Discovery Academy, Community High, and the Buncombe County Early and Middle Colleges drawing from students all over the district, shutting down more than two districts can cause not only scheduling issues for those schools, but safety issues as well.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, [email protected], 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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