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I was informed that The Calendar Committee “was comprised of a variety of stakeholder groups, including students, parents, community/business partners, school-level staff, and district level advisers.” The Calendar Committee discussed the number of days per year, number of days per semester, inclement weather/emergency days, testing windows, spring breaks, holidays, school breaks, and other metro area school districts’ calendars.
Tomorrow, the board will discuss and approve the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school calendars. The Calendar Committee released the proposed 2016-17 calendar this evening and answered some questions posed by readers of this blog.
02/01/2016 – DeKalb Schools 2016-2017 Calendar Update
Question: How did we come to this start date?
Calendar Committee: There were 8,050 responses to the online survey. 48% was community and stakeholders. A majority of the community prefers a later start date.
Question: How did we address religious holidays conflicting with the testing schedule?
Calendar Committee: Except for PSAT, there will be no testing in September or October.
Question: Why don’t the students have school on Nov 8, election day?
Calendar Committee: The community feedback was that parents want their children to be off from school on election day.
Please comment here with any thoughts or questions.
click to enlarge
|Pre-planning||Aug 1 – 5, 2016||July 31 – Aug 4, 2017|
|First day of school||Aug 8, 2016||Aug 7, 2017|
|Labor Day||Sept 5, 2016||Sept 4, 2017|
|Fall Break (Including Columbus Day)||Oct 6 – 10, 2016||Oct 5 – 9, 2017|
|Election Day/Teacher’s Workday||Nov 8, 2016||Nov 7, 2017|
|Thanksgiving Break||Nov 21 – 25, 2016||Nov 20 – 24, 2017|
|Last day of 1st semester||Dec 21, 2016||Dec 20, 2017|
|Winter Break||Dec 22, 2016 – Jan 3, 2017||Dec 21, 2017 – Jan 2, 2018|
|Post planning 1st semester/ Pre-planning 2nd semester||Jan 4, 2017||Jan 3, 2018|
|First day of 2nd semester||Jan 5, 2017||Jan 4, 2018|
|Martin L. King Day||Jan 16, 2017||Jan 15, 2018|
|Feb Break (Including President’s Day)||Feb 17 – 20, 2017||Feb 16 – 19, 2018|
|Inclement Weather Day||Feb 17, 2017||Feb 16, 2018|
|Professional Learning Day||March 10, 2017||March 9, 2018|
|Spring Break||April 3 – 7, 2017||April 2 – 6, 2018|
|Lemonade Days Carnival||April 19 – 23, 2017|
|Last day of school||May 25, 2017||May 24, 2018|
|Post planning||May 26, 2017||May 25, 2018|
|Number of days 1st semester||88||88|
|Number of days 2nd semester||92||92|
|Total number of school days||180||180|
My biggest concern here is the mid week release for winter break and late week return. I can pretty much guarantee that there will be significant absences the M-W before winter break. I’m not sure what the intentions were here… I’m also concerned over “no testing” in Sept/Oct. So, IOWA and COGAT will be given in November?
Its like mission creep folks. That date just gets earlier and ealier. The 2018/2019 year will start august 6th. They, the few people who control this committee, want this week off (fall break). Otherwise why do we have to continua this discussion. Whoever that person is…enough already. WE DONT EANT TO START SCHOOL IN JULY!!!
Finals for first semester will have to be on mon/tues. Middle and high school kids wont be absent. All this for two more days off at Columbus day.
We do not need a “Fall Break.” One day for Columbus Day is sufficient. They keep trying to put in a Fall break at the expense of either Winter Break or trying to start the Fall earlier. At NO expense should school start any earlier than the second week of August. Also, adding additional days off in the middle of October puts unfair burden on working parents to find childcare and/or take off unwanted vacation days. Finally, our schools vary SO FAR from the rest of the country with regards to early start date that it makes it extraordinarily difficult to be connected nationally and practically impossible internationally (e.g. when countries start summer holidays end of July). We cannot operate as if we are isolated.
The two semesters have a difference of 4 instructional days. It used to be years ago that the mind set was each semester would have 90 days. While it doesn’t really impact schools that are not on block schedule to have a different number of instructional days per semester, it does impact schools on block schedule. They have 4 less days to teach first semester. Given each class period is an hour and a half, the first semester courses have 6 less hours of instruction. Students who attend high schools on a 7 period day receive 9000 minutes of class time a year per subject (50 min. x 180) while a student on block schedule only receives 8100 minutes (90 min x 90 days) so they already receive less face to face time…take away some of those 90 days, and you have widened the instructional gap even more.
Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday this year. The school calendar has us going to school on the Monday and Tuesday prior to that and then off the rest of the week.
Is it better to end school before a big break on a Friday or on a Tuesday?
Given Christmas is already off- I guess it depends on when Christmas falls that year- If Christmas is on a weekend, as it is this year, wouldn’t having the last day of the semester on that Friday make sense? Or, Thursday- but that’s it.
I’d prefer to end on a Friday if possible and not have to go to school right before Christmas. I know it’s challenging with the exams but if your family is traveling it is really tight. And yes we need a fall break. Everyone else in Atlanta seems to have one so why not us?
AB, give THESE folks an inch they take 10K miles. A fall break with July start date puts us just that closer to year round or a “modified balanced calendar” that C. Atkison wanted. They are testing niw for 3 weeks in fall, then another week in spring for milestones. Lord knows they dont fo a lot of actual teaching then so addimg an earlier start with a week off, shortens summer and adds more time without actual learning. Enough.
I am not in favor of a fall break. Getting this additional time off from work is a hardship. How would a fall break benefit students?
It is better by far to end school on a Friday before a big break. Having the weekend off significantly impacts travel plans.
I do not want school to start in July. Summer break is already short enough.
These calendars are built on dishonesty. Typical DCSD move.
So why didn’t calendar committee ask about a fall break in the survey? I know the answer, they same number of folks would have said NO! Remember, there was only ONE question on the survey and it was about a start date. How unprofessional, they manufactured a break for the school house adults, when they knew parents wouldn’t want it and how convenient that they didn’t ask about it. Poorly done, sneaky and unprofessional. The board needs to call them on it too. This is the type of stuff that DCSD has always done to alienate the parents. Business as usual from the administration. Who are these people and why is it a secret? Someone needs to get real here.
Fall break doesn’t benefit students it benefits the adults in the school house. Not everyone can get to one last beach blast cuz rates are lower in Destin or take a family trip to Disney. Another break in school calendar is just more time off. They don’t need time off, the students need time in. This is a terrible idea.
What are the pros for starting a week earlier? If DCSD is striving to maximize retention and achievement by moving to a true “year-round” 180-day school calendar, starting school a week earlier is not going to prove effective in meeting that goal. Having been educated in Dekalb County Schools, I’m not familiar with (and not a fan of!) a 45-15 (or any other year-round) calendar, but it seems it would take a full move to one to be able to make a big difference in the way our kids learn/retain/succeed.
The way the proposed 2017-18 calendar is written (with a 7/31 return), a fall break is unnecessary given we’ve recently returned from a 9-week summer break, have a long Labor Day weekend in September, a long Columbus Day weekend in October, and a week off in November. An additional week in the summer is a true break for students and teachers, whereas a week “off” in September or October is likely to be spent studying (for students) and grading papers (for teachers). Additionally, it places a hardship on working parents to try to get another week off of work or secure childcare. NOT in favor!
Something else to consider is that new teachers will have to work almost 7 weeks before receiving a paycheck. They are given the option of dividing their annual salary into 26 pay checks instead of 24. The checks are smaller but they can pay rent, make car payments and eat that first month of school. Starting in July makes this problem worse. I’ve missed my share of family reunions and gatherings because I couldn’t travel in August.
Please checkout engaginganation.vpweb.com.
Who monitors the “executive directors”? AIC staff are always questioned about their time and effort.
As I look at the Pre planning schedule for teachers to return to their respective schools on August 1st, why is DeKalb holding what looks to be an all day Back to School Pep Rally on that Friday, August 5th. This seems like yet another waste of spending and time taken away from teachers to prepare to receive their students on the very Monday. Shouldn’t this be time spent making final preparations…not to mention the massive amount of positions posted on PATS. I guess DeKalb is more concerned with making sure students and families are having fun before school starts than actually making sure those very same schools are fully staffed and ready to go on the first day.
Many parents and communities (to some extent) don’t know about school starting. This is an attempt to get as many students to show up as possible on day 1.