Provide Feedback on Draft Version of TCSS 2022-2023 Academic Calendar

  • January 3, 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 our TCSS families, faculty, and staff to give feedback on a draft version of our 2022-2023 TCSS Academic Calendar. The link to provide feedback (below on this page) will be open through Friday, January 7, 2022, at Noon.

    This draft was developed by a committee of TCSS faculty, staff, and administrators, from schools and offices across the district. Several of the committee members are also parents of TCSS students. The committee’s work was guided by the results of a survey conducted in November, which was open to all TCSS families, faculty, and staff.

    Key Survey Results

    • There were 2279 total responses to the survey.
    • Respondents included: 1.14% students; 53.82% parents/guardians; 21.73% faculty/staff members who also have a student in TCSS; and 23.31% faculty/staff members.
    • More than 76% of respondents wanted employees to begin the first week of August, students the second week of August, and to have everyone dismissed for summer before Memorial Day.
    • 57% of respondents wanted a full week for Thanksgiving holidays.
    • 55% of respondents said a Fall Break was a great need.
    • Identified priorities were: (a) having two weeks for Winter break; (b) ending school before Memorial Day; and (c) having a Fall Break.

    Before providing feedback on the 2022-2023 Academic Calendar Draft, please familiarize yourself with the draft calendar, as well as calendar guidelines listed below. These factors include requirements and decisions related to the development of the calendar.

    TCSS 2022-2023 Academic Calendar - DRAFT VERSION

    Link to Provide Feedback on Draft Calendar

    Once the window to provide feedback closes, Superintendent Dr. Keri Johnson will review comments. Dr. Johnson will make a calendar recommendation to the Board of Education at one of the Board’s January meetings.

     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.