Provide Input on Future TCSS Academic Calendars

  • November 10, 2021

    The Tuscaloosa County School System is in the process of developing our academic calendar for the next two years. The format that develops from this process will be applied to the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic calendars. We invite TCSS families, faculty, and staff to participate in the calendar development process in the following ways:

    1. Please review the current year’s academic calendar.

    2. Please read the Calendar Guidelines document (guidelines also listed below) to become familiar with requirements and decisions related to the development of the calendar.

    3. Take this survey after completing the steps above. The survey will remain open until Friday, November 19, at Noon. You may also copy and paste the survey link:

    Once the survey closes, a committee of parents/guardians and faculty/staff will review the results and develop calendar options for upcoming years. In early December, those calendar options will be shared with families, faculty, and staff, and a survey will be available for input as to which option is preferred. Once the survey closes, the Superintendent will make a recommendation to the Board for approval of the 2022-2023 TCSS Academic Calendar.

    Calendar Guidelines

    • By State Law, school systems must complete a minimum of 1,080 hours, or 64,800 minutes, of instructional time during an academic year. Previously, State law mandated 180 days, but did not allow any time for half days or other exceptions. Like most school systems in the State, the Tuscaloosa County School System has never had a problem with meeting the 64,800 minutes of instructional time. Instructional time cannot include time for lunch, breaks, or transitions such as class changes.

    • At least seven faculty days are required, and faculty/staff must meet their contracted days, regardless of student days. Most nine-month employees are on a 187-day contract.

    • Schools may not be in session on Veterans Day or Memorial Day. Schools may be in session any other day of the year that is approved by the local Board of Education.

    Considerations and Frequently Asked Questions

    Why do we start school so early in August? Will we be out of school before Memorial Day?
    The start and end dates for school may be adjusted, but we have to meet the minimum number of instructional minutes requirement, as described above. The later we start, the fewer holidays that can be taken during the year, or school has to extend beyond Memorial Day.

    Professional Development Days for Teachers
    These are not a “day off” for teachers. Research from all aspects of educational study provides ample evidence that teachers need time to collaborate, plan, align lessons to standards, develop intervention plans for struggling students, and develop extensions for students who need additional challenge. Without periodic and uninterrupted time to do so, the effectiveness of instruction is limited.

    Fairly Consistent Time for Each Semester of School
    Semesters should be fairly close in days and/or instructional time.

    Holiday Decisions
    All holiday decisions impact start and end dates for the academic year.

    Coordination with the Tuscaloosa City Schools and The University of Alabama
    In our community, many households have members who attend and/or are employed by TCSS, as well as either UA and/or TCS. Therefore, calendar coordination with TCS and UA is meaningful for many families, particularly for Spring Break, as well as other holiday breaks and school year start/end dates.