From the Desk of ACS Supt. Burleson: School Calendar for 2016-17 Approved

Published Monday, April 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

To the Editor,

Supt. Burleson

Supt. Burleson

The Avery County Schools have just completed the third nine weeks of the school year and are focused on finishing a very successful year. Our faculty and staff have dedicated themselves to doing all in their power to prepare our students for the end of year tests.

The additional time added to the school day this year allows students to finish school on Friday, June 3.

As we finish the current school year, preparation is already under way for the 2016-2017 school year with the approval of the school calendar. Before the calendar could the approved, the school system calendar committee, made up of staff and parents from each school, did a great job developing a calendar to best meet the needs of our students. Here are some to the calendar issues that the committee was required to deal with. One of the first issues to understand is that ten-month employees are required to work 215 days. Those 215 days are broken up as follows: 185 instructional days; eleven days as holidays; ten annual leave (vacation) days; and nine workdays. Of those nine workdays, at least two must be optional workdays. Here is a summary of the current calendar legislation:


2012 Senate Bill 187 (Session Law 2012-145), applies beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, rewrites a portion of the calendar law (General Statute 115C-84.2).

School Calendars must meet the following requirements:

  • Start date no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and end date no later than the Friday closest to June 11 (unless a weather related calendar waiver has been approved, year-round school, charter school or cooperative innovative high school.) If waiver is approved the start date can be no earlier than the Monday closest to August 19. (Avery County Schools can start no earlier than August 22 unless the calendar law changes.)
  • There are no educational purpose waivers for exemption of the opening and/or closing dates.
  • All schools within the district must be closed all day for purposes of determining eligibility for a weather related waiver (delayed starts or early dismissals of two or more hours no longer apply).
  • Covers at least nine calendar months.
  • Must have a minimum of 185 days OR 1,025 hours of instruction.
  • Must have at least ten teacher workdays.
  • Local Boards shall designate two (2) workdays on which teachers may take accumulated vacation leave. Local Boards may designate the remaining workdays as days’ teachers may take accumulated vacation leave. Two days must be scheduled Optional Annual Leave days.
  • Have a minimum of 10 annual vacation leave days.
  • Have the same or an equivalent number of legal holidays occurring within the school calendar as those designated by the State Personnel Commission for State employees. That is currently nine workdays.
  • School shall not be held on Sunday.
  • Veterans Day shall be a holiday for all public school personnel and for all students enrolled in the public schools.

Over the last two years, in order to get our first semester in and finish high school exams before Christmas, we began to add an additional twenty minutes to each school day for students. This additional time not only allowed us to finish the first semester before Christmas, it also provided us with extra time in case of inclement weather, which has been extremely helpful as we see this year in having the opportunity to finish the school year on June 3 instead of June 20.

The current calendar legislation allows a school year to be defined as a minimum 185 instructional days or 1,025 instructional hours. Adding additional time to the school day does allow us the opportunity to use the 1,025 hours as a minimal school year and not be required to make-up some of the instructional time we miss. Choosing the 1,025 instructional hours minimum, requires us to subtract any instructional hours missed (i.e. delays or early dismissals) from the total hours.

Here is a summary of the approved calendar for 2016-2017:


  • 16, 17 – Optional Teacher Workdays
  • 18, 19 – Required Workdays
  • 22 – First Day of School


  • 5 – Labor Day Holiday


  • 7 – Possible Homecoming Dismissal
  • 8 – End of 1st Nine Weeks
  • 25 – Parent Conference Day


  • 11 – Veteran’s Day Holiday
  • 23 – Annual Leave
  • 24, 25 – Thanksgiving Holiday


  • 21 – End of 2nd Nine Weeks
  • 22, 28, 29, 30 – Annual Vacation Leave
  • 23, 26, 27 – Christmas Holiday


  • 2 – New Year’s Holiday
  • 3 – Optional Teacher Workday
  • 16- Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday


  • 17 – End of 3rd Nine Weeks


  • 17 – Easter Holiday
  • 14, 18, 19, 20, 21 – Annual Vacation Leave


  • 29 – Memorial Day Holiday


  • 7 – Early Dismissal – Last Day of School
  • 8 – Required Workday
  • 9, 12 – Optional Teacher Workday


If you have any questions or concerns about the 2016-2017 calendar please feel free to let us know.




David Burleson


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