CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County students would start school two days earlier next year if the Charleston County School Board is able to implement its preferred calendar option.
Under that calendar, one of three options being considered, students would start school on Aug. 17, two days earlier than the third Monday of August, which state law has set as the earliest school can begin.
But Charleston County School District spokesman Andy Pruitt said the school board can't officially approve that plan until Gov. Henry McMaster signs legislation that would provide a one-year exemption for the earlier start date.
The legally-mandated earliest start date for the 2017-2018 school year would be Aug. 21, which is the date of a total solar eclipse projected to impact the Lowcountry. The eclipse is expected to be at its peak at approximately the time many Charleston County school districts would be letting out, and that raises safety and transportation concerns, Pruitt said.
Of the three calendar options the district posted to survey parents, two of them had school starting the day after the eclipse.
Darby said the word the board is receiving is that the state legislature supports the move and says the board hopes to finalize the calendar on March 13.
Click here to see the third calendar option.