Creating the school calendar for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is very complex. The 2013-2014 calendar development gets under way Jan. 23, and the public is invited to observe the process. “The Calendar Committee looks at what’s best for the district’s instructional needs, the classroom and the community,” said Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh. “It’s a very complex process.” Many things must be considered when creating the calendar. Instructional days. Teacher workdays. Holidays. Annual leave days. Makeup days. And school can’t start before Aug. 25 and must end by June 10. There’s another wrinkle: The state legislature added five days for all school districts in the state, going from 180 instructional days to 185. In addition, the five protected teacher workdays were eliminated. A steering committee will meet to develop up to six different calendars. A committee of parents, community members, teachers, principals and other CMS staff will choose two calendars from the six potential ones. Then CMS staff and the community will take part in an online poll to indicate which calendar they prefer. The results will be shared with the superintendent, who will give them to the Board of Education. The Board is expected to decide on a calendar in March or April. In additional to the Jan. 23 meeting, the Steering or Calendar committees will meet Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13. All meetings are 4-6 p.m. at Metro School, 405 S. Davidson St. Attendees should park at the Education Center. For more information on the calendar development process, visit www.cms.k12.nc.us and click on Calendars/Schedules at the bottom of the homepage.