After months of debate, the Beaufort County School Board made its decision on the school calendar. It's been a hot topic since Superintendent Phillip McDaniel recommended the board unify the school calendar and put all the schools on the traditional calendar.
Last night, the school board decided to keep the school calendar just as it is now for the next two years, with 13 schools on the year-round calendar and the other half on the traditional calendar.
Parents, teachers and students crowded the Beaufort County School Board meeting, some even from a satellite site on Hilton Head Island, all ready to give their last two cents to the board before the final decision was made.
"We strongly believe year-round calendar enhances academics," said Beaufort Middle School teacher Kathryn Weller.
Weller and many other supporters of the year-round calendar shared with the board the benefits of intersessions, especially for those students who need extra help.
"They don't have to wait till summer to get the help they need, teachers don't have to spend the first part of the school year reviewing," said Weller.
Several people questioned the superintendent's proposal to unify the school calendar and put all the schools on the traditional calendar, saying one size doesn't fit all.
"Can we say changing the year-round calendar back to a traditional calendar will raise test scores?" said Robert Smalls Middle School parent Gloria Bockelman.
But supporters of the traditional calendar like Bernadet Hampton from Battery Creek High School stated changing the high schools to year-round would not only hurt students academically, but in other ways.
"Have you considered summer employment opportunities for high school students will be impacted by a year-round calendar?" Hampton asked.
After a lot of comments and a long discussion, the board finally voted to keep the district's dual calendar intact for the next two years.
"I think it came out the way it should have," said Lady's Island Elementary School teacher Angela Peterson. "I think the board listened to the people."
"We'll take the victory, they did the right thing," said Lady's Island Elementary School parent Rob Bridgers.
Despite the board's decision, a couple of board members stated this issue up sooner than two year, especially since a new superintendent will be coming on board this summer and new schools are on the horizon.