School superintendent Wanda Creel presented preliminary survey result data reflecting the public's reaction to a new 2012-13 school year calendar. She asked Tuesday night for the board to recommend approving the options to be posted on the school system’s website for additional public review as school leaders work to design system wide scheduling for the upcoming year.
Two calendar options were presented to the board— one with an earlier spring break than year's past, which includes a break beginning in the first week in April. The other option suggests a later spring break, after students are finished taking the state standardized Criterion-Referenced Competency Test(s) or CRCT(s).
According to Creel, 1,516 elementary, middle and high school parents responded to the initial calendar survey in November.
More than 68 percent of those people selected that they either strongly agree or agree with the “superintendent and BOE to prioritize academic and testing schedules above all others in developing the calendar,” she said. Responders only strongly disagreed with the previous statement at 2.8 percent, according to Creel, which was the lowest ranking option the public could offer opinions on with respect to the calendar. Twenty percent said either agree or disagree, Creel said.
Both proposed calendars reflect a full week for Thanksgiving break, Creel said. Option one has a shorter fall break and option two has a three-day fall break. Both calendar options are also aligned with possible furlough days.
“It is very difficult for us to create a calendar and to know what that's going to be after a budget is approved in late May,” said Creel. “If we found ourselves already having to incorporate furlough days, they would already be identified on the calendar.”
More than 72 percent of respondents reflected interest in started classes earlier in August in order to keep a fall break and finish the first school semester before winter break, said Creel.
Creel suggested that the system post the two proposed calendar options to the school system website in order to field more opinions from the public.
Whatever is decided upon, stick with it and don't change it at almost the end of the school year like you did this year. In February 2011, a fall break was scheduled and by the middle of May, the website showed it was reduced to three days breaking up two different weeks.
There are working parents who plan vacations, etc, in advance and last minute changes in a school schedule are not favorable.
12/08/11 at 12:31 PM
I agree that once the schedule is decided it is only fair to follow it. I am employed and have to work out the time with my employer so making changes has a big ripple effect.
I remember those changes too. I was told it had something to do with the calendar being done and then the state cutting the budget and that somehow caused more unpaid days off for teachers. I'm probably not remembering it right, but it was something like that.
I didn't like either option. Will we ever get our summer back? Will we ever get to start in September again after Labor day? August is so freakin hot in Ga why go to school in the hottest month? It takes more money to cool down schools,students on the hot buses! Cut out some of these days off and they can still graduate in May!