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Change To School Calendar Could Create Challenge For School Districts

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Legislators took their debates into the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The gavel dropped on the short session around 6 a.m. By that time,

lawmakers had approved a measure that would change the way families plan their summer vacation.

Changes to the school calendar happened in an all-night session at the General Assembly.

The measure means schools cannot begin until after Aug. 25 and must end by June 10 beginning with the 2005-2006 school year.

Crystal Roberts, of the Johnston County School Board, said the change will create more of a challenge for school districts.

Roberts said the upside is that lawmakers only reduced teacher workdays by five. She said informing the public about the changes is the next big hurdle.

"You've got to make sure all means of communication are used with people coming into the system and parents already here," she said. "So, it poses a challenge from a communication standpoint."

Roberts said high-school block scheduling could be most affected. She said students may have to take their exams after they return from holiday break. The calendar change takes effect next school year.

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