Make-Up Schedule – DeKalb Schools

DeKalb County School District to extend school days by 20 minutes from October 2 to December 20.

DeKalb Schools News Alert

In order to recapture precious instructional time lost due to Hurricane Irma, DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will extend its school day by 20 minutes, Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, through the end of the first semester on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.

DCSD schools and offices will also remain open on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 7) as the district ensures that students don’t miss out on lessons vital to their academic achievement.

Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green and his leadership team emphasized the need to regain opportunities for students to make progress, rather than use the four inclement weather days built into the district’s calendar.

“We did not want to simply recoup lost moments. Our most precious commodity is instructional time, and we want to make this an effective learning opportunity,” said Green. “We lost four days and we’re trying to be as creative and productive as we can about recapturing that time. Extending the school day with this schedule is the least disruptive for all parties.”

RECAP: Extended school day schedule from Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, through Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017:
• Dismissal will occur 20 minutes later than normal, Monday-Friday, each week.
• Parents will receive a notification from their campus regarding the dismissal time.

A primary goal was not to impact Fall Break or Winter Break for both families and employees who may have commitments based on the approved school year calendar. Also, with the unpredictability of North Georgia weather in the winter, the district does not want to use all its inclement weather days before the onset of that season.


Message from Superintendent Stephen Green.

Superintendent Stephen Green

Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District

Much discussion took place as we worked to address the impact of Hurricane Irma on the instructional schedule. Several options were posed and vetted. We recognize that family schedules will be impacted regardless of any decision, however, the committee felt any consideration of Fall Break days and holidays would create hardships for both our families and staff members as many have already committed to plans.

Therefore, a hybrid model was proposed:
• The extension of the school day by 20 minutes beginning October 2nd and running through December 20th.
• The conversion of the November 7th (Election Day) Teacher Work Day to a regular school day.

This hybrid model allows the district to recoup the 4 days of instructional time lost due to the hurricane.

In response to the use of the 20 minutes of additional time, included in the revised schedule, the only requirement posed upon schools would be that the school cannot adjust its start time, and the end time must be adjusted to end 20 minutes later than the current schedule. The division of the 20 minutes, while it may be divided across multiple periods, there is no requirement for it to be implemented in that fashion.

The division of the extended time will be a school-based decision at all levels, therefore, providing latitude to the instruction needs of the schools. Such flexibility will allow our principals and schools to utilize the time as will best meet the needs of their students. Examples of such use are time for intervention periods, enrichment periods, to extend current instructional periods equally, or to concentrate the time in one instructional area to focus on a particular instruction program, such as literacy or numeracy.

We thank you for your continued support of DCSD schools.

74 responses to “Make-Up Schedule – DeKalb Schools

  1. How does this affect employees? If their contract day runs to 3:45 pm (with the high school day ending at 3:20), does their day extend to 4:05 (and can the District alter those terms?) or does the work day still end at 3:45 and school end at 3:40?

  2. I don’t believe the work day is defined in the teacher contract. I would expect the teacher day to extend by 20 minutes as well … confirm with your principal.

  3. Frustrated DeKalb Parent

    How is each school going to allocate that extra time across all classes to truly be effective in making up lost educational time? Will it be 3 or so extra minutes in each class a day or will they add the 20 minutes to one class at a time and rotate through the classes? Or some other way? It just doesn’t seem like any way would be very effective.

  4. I don’t think this is as practical as using other days.

    For one, I imagine that high schools (and middle schools) need to adjust the bell schedules to add additional minutes to each period (and change the lunch schedules), or they will simply tack on 20 minutes to the last period of the day. If that happens, students will basically sit there for 20 minutes losing valuable instructional time (maybe some teachers will teach, but..some won’t).

    Plus, employees and parents who have children at different schools, who have jobs with tight schedule, or even have students in different school systems are really going to struggle to adjust their schedules accordingly.

    Am I missing something? I’d love to be wrong.

  5. In high school with seven classes a day for reg schedule, will the schools extend each class period by 3 mins? What? New bell schedule?

  6. This is the most absurd idea they’ve had to date.
    What exactly will be accomplished by adding 20 min? Sometimes, they don’t come out for 15 minutes anyway? What’s the point? Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t really care less…..just glad they didn’t take long weekend away.
    One question….in the block schedule, where they have four 90 minute classes, will they add an extra 5 minutes to each class or does 4th period get the entire whopping 20 extra minutes of education!

  7. I’m not sure how this will be implemented. This isn’t uncharted territory though. Gwinnett Schools added 30 minutes to their day back in 2014 due to winter weather.

  8. I know, the whole thing is ridiculous. it’s going to affect after school activities where it’s 20 minutes or 60 minutes. people are going to be pulling out their kids for activities they have already paid for.

  9. Katherine Eastburn

    Nope. Isnt practical. By adding 20 min they are effectively creating a maelstrom with pickup. Middles schoolers in particular will be the most impacted with buses coming at 420 ish to come and get them but since they will be backlogged with the high school traffic it could men more like 445 by the time they load up and leave. That puts many kids in much more peak traffic, they are hungry and tired and getting home at what 530? Even 6? Is that really in the best interests of the kids? Numerous studies show kids attention span wanes after a certain time and they need to eat and play to be productive. I doubt many parents will support this inane. Why didn’t they build extra inclement weather days in to the schedule? One day doesn’t cut it. Hope they do a better job with the next planning . Very disappointed in DCSS.

  10. For my middle schooler who has 7 classes each day, this will not add any extra instruction I’m sure. 3 mins extra per class or just tack on 20 minutes to once random class. Can’t see how this will help at all, just make kids and teachers sit around for extra 20 per day. And our sports students will now be getting home even later having less time for homework. For my elementary child not sure how this will help for them either, doubt any more learning will happen!
    This seems like ok on paper but not in reality.

  11. Jonathan Ringel

    I suggest this time be used for an experiment; add this time for recess and see if students perform better during the day. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/longer-recess-stronger-child-development-angela-hanscom

  12. Jennifer Hicks-Tiberia

    And 3 days a week I’ll have to pick up early because he won’t make it to his after school activity. Middle schoolers don’t get home until 4:30-5:00 as it is when they ride the bus. When the time falls back in December they will be getting off the bus in the dark and it will take longer closer to rush hour(s). Such a brilliant resolution. So impressed with our leaders in Deklab.

  13. First, thank you for sharing the information. I understand! We have the winter months to survive and who know perhaps another wave of bad storms. In my opinion, the make up schedule decision could have been made after the winter months. I do not see the need to “rush” the decision.

    Second, I would have prefer to make the days up at the end of school year or use a teacher work day. Thank you for keeping us in the loop.

  14. So the November 7th workday is now a regular class day, am I reading that correctly?

  15. Robyn, That’s the way I read it. We will have school November 7th, Election Day.

  16. Katherine Eastburn

    Jonathan Ringel I agree. Absolutely they need more recess and time to eat and relax. Thanks for posting the link:)

  17. Horrible decision. I do not know anyone pleased by it.

  18. Catherine Barfield

    I am just another voice to add to the chorus of objections to this ridiculous “solution.” It is problematic on so many levels. There will be no extra minutes of actual teaching – please. Schedules for teachers, students and families will be massively disrupted, to NO benefit. Children will have to drop after-school activities, and will have even less time for homework in the evenings. How can we get the District to reconsider this decision?

    This is an example of administrative bean-counters thinking only of numbers and not of people.

  19. So children leaving Fernbank ES and riding the bus to Buford Hwy will probably be sitting on Clairmont in the VA and Emory shift changes. Substitutes want to know if they will receive a pay raise. They were not compensated for the extra hour on the day of the eclipse. Teachers are contracted for eight hours a day. That is how the pay and hours are deducted when they are absent. They are accountable for 8 hours to the
    District.

  20. Igottagetoutofthisplace!

    QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY!

    Another poor decision made by the ones who aren’t affected by this schedule.

    I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t have to be associated with DeKalb County Schools.

  21. For a 7-period HS or MS day, adding three minutes to each class doesn’t seem like it would provide an effective opportunity to accomplish anything. Perhaps a better option if the extended day is a “done deal” would be to add 20 minutes to a single class each day — so for example in week one 1st period is extended by 20 minutes, in week two 2nd period is extended for 20 minutes, etc. Many thanks, Stan, for all that you do!

  22. I’ll be checking my kids out early I guess otherwise there are commitments and things we do that won’t be able to take place. This does affect lots of local businesses too who have scheduled their class times around the school system calendar. Things my kids enjoy doing and is good for them. Also for the working parents who have found a routine that works for them – so much disruption. Some folks are poo pooing the 20 min extra wondering what the big deal is. I guess they don’t sit in traffic much. The traffic issue is what is going to cause 20 min to snowball in so many ways. Let’s not even start on the incompetency of the Transportation System and how many of us middle school parents are car pooling because AS IT IS, kids are getting home at 5pm. DCSS has a lot to answer for.

  23. There is a hidden push in the school system to create a balanced calendar against parental wishes. So they create a fake problem by acting as if big storms suddenly shut down school for a week because buses allegedly can’t drive around trees with alternate routes. They show you that meeting 20 minutes extra is inconvenient. Then you happily accept the resolution they want when they offer a balanced calendar instead. How about next time Dekalb stops pretending that they can’t clear the streets of trees in a reasonable length of time. Oh but that would work against their push to get rid of summers and kids summer job experience

  24. Let’s see. They arbitrarily extend the day for the eclipse, and now they extend it for this? Do they think we are all just sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting to see what our kids’ schedules are each day?

    News flash: We have jobs, we have carpools, we have paid for after-school tutoring, we have paid for after school sports, teachers have their own families to get home to but now will be delayed even more if they run after school activities, middle schoolers will be stuck in true rush hour traffic. You are already messing with after school activity times, like already scheduled play practices, club meetings, and sports practices.

    In what alternate universe does completely disrupting 49 days for every single student and teacher in the county seem better than, say, going a full day on Election Day + creating a “cyber day” where teachers send a day’s lesson home with them over the Thanksgiving break, and then waiting to see if the other two days are even needed?

    I am guessing all central office employees will also be extending their day? Because they didn’t on eclipse day. They left their nice offices at the regular time. As usual, bad decisions are just pushed down and down to negatively impact only students, teachers, and parents.

  25. Ok. I asked Dr Green what they were talking about when they said 4 inclement weather days. He said they were referring to Fall Break and Election Day. They aren’t officially inclement weather days but days that were identified that could be used.

  26. Another stupid idea from DeKalb-yes let’s have our kids sit in class for an extra three minutes twiddling their thumbs. My son does to CCHS and we live in Tucker so adding 20 minutes onto an already too long school day makes life so much easier. NOT! If we are delayed by 5 minutes leaving school in the afternoon, then it makes a huge difference running into more traffic on 285. I am with you Igottagetoutofthisplace! can’t wait when he is out of the DeKalb system. Was any parent or teacher asked? My son said teachers hate this idea but administrators don’t listen to teachers. I don’t think they listen to parents either. Signed-not happy

  27. Take Election Day and the THURSDAY of winter break and be done with it.

  28. Aside from meeting a time objective, this plan does nothing to enhance the education of the kids, which is what we’re supposed to be about. Lynn King is correct.

  29. Stan, did the board actually have anything to do with this, or was it 100% an administrative decision?

  30. Stephen Green, Superintendent, DeKalb Schools

    Much discussion took place as we worked to address the impact of Hurricane Irma on the instructional schedule. Several options were posed and vetted. We recognize that family schedules will be impacted regardless of any decision, however, the committee felt any consideration of Fall Break days and holidays would create hardships for both our families and staff members as many have already committed to plans.

    Therefore, a hybrid model was proposed:

    • The extension of the school day by 20 minutes beginning October 2nd and running through December 20th.
    • The conversion of the November 7th (Election Day) Teacher Work Day to a regular school day.

    This hybrid model allows the district to recoup the 4 days of instructional time lost due to the hurricane.

    In response to the use of the 20 minutes of additional time, included in the revised schedule, the only requirement posed upon schools would be that the school cannot adjust its start time, and the end time must be adjusted to end 20 minutes later than the current schedule. The division of the 20 minutes, while it may be divided across multiple periods, there is no requirement for it to be implemented in that fashion.

    The division of the extended time will be a school-based decision at all levels, therefore, providing latitude to the instruction needs of the schools. Such flexibility will allow our principals and schools to utilize the time as will best meet the needs of their students. Examples of such use are time for intervention periods, enrichment periods, to extend current instructional periods equally, or to concentrate the time in one instructional area to focus on a particular instruction program, such as literacy or numeracy.

    We thank you for your continued support of DCSD schools.

  31. I am assuming allotting a full 20 mins to one period vs. 3.3 mins to 7 periods in a day will yield the greatest instructional benefit. Can’t wait to hear what the others offer!

  32. I can’t imagine that an extra 4 minutes per subject per day will amount to much additional learning, but nobody asked me. I’m willing to let the administrators and teachers at the school level figure this out.

  33. Amy, the board had no input. Policy AEA says “When a school day is canceled because of inclement weather or other emergency conditions, the Superintendent shall have authority to reschedule the day within the annual period of time scheduled for the teachers.”

  34. For years, teachers have been hounded about “contract hours,” have been told they are expected to be in at certain times and stay till certain times. They have been told that certain numbers of faculty meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and so on, are part of “contract hours,” and thus requirements of the job. It is a stick that is wielded all the time. And now, Stan, are you saying that the District can just alter our contract hours at will, and just add 20 minutes to the work day? Why not add three hours? Why not make teachers work twelve hour days? Wouldn’t that help student achievement? Or, if there never were contract hours, then what exactly are the obligations of teachers?

    The policy you quote (“the Superintendent shall have authority to reschedule the day within the annual period of time scheduled for the teachers”) seems very vague. I would have assumed that means that already-scheduled days teachers can be changed in purpose, i.e. teacher work days/postplanning days can be changed to instructional days. That is what the “annual period scheduled” means – the 190 days teachers are under contract. I see nothing there that says the superintendent can arbitrarily change the LENGTH of each work day. What about overtime obligations (for those falling below the “salaried” cut off)?

    This makes no sense, educationally or contractually.

  35. Dr. Green,

    Can you honestly tell me that you think that inconveniencing every single student, teacher, administrator, and staff member for 49 days with 2 weeks’ notice is the best option?

    Do you have any idea what it takes to get a dual working family household with kids who don’t go to school down the street to and from school and activities every day? How could you possibly think a “hybrid” option is anything but the worst of both? They lose a day off AND parents and caregivers are inconvenienced for the rest of the semester.

    This screws up family schedules, after school activity schedules, schedules for activities that are after school that are already paid for, after school paid tutoring, after school jobs for students and teachers. Just my family has an after school activity every day that begins right as they will be getting out with the adjusted schedule. As in, we purposely signed up for activities that started right at 20ish minutes after school so that they can DO the activity and still get home to eat dinner, do homework, and get a good night’s sleep. My child will be at least 20 minutes late every day to an activity that is already paid for and cannot be rescheduled, and at least that is an activity. There are other people whose JOBS are after school, and this screws that up, too.

    This is quite possibly the WORST combination you could have chosen. I cannot actually believe it was you who decided this, as I have seen mostly common sense out of you. This is definite an “old DeKalb” type of decision, takes me back to the ole Cheryl Atkinson days where she wanted to try some stupid idea to lengthen 4 days and shorten the 5th for enriching activities.

    I think you need to pull together a realistic focus group (i.e. not your “yes” men” and figure out a better way because this is not it.

    Honestly, one of the largest school systems in the country thinking that it’s a good idea to impact 100K students and their families for 3 months with 2 weeks’ notice. I’d be laughing if it weren’t actually true.

  36. OCGA 20-2-211 provides that teachers, principals, and other certificated professionals are entitled to written contracts. This, however, doesn’t mean that teachers are hourly contractors. It’s an agreement that says teachers are an employee of the school district. I don’t understand which part of the contract is being altered.

    Anon, how do you see the employee/employer relationship?

  37. Board members should vocally distance themselves from this because it has not helped rumblings of contesting and voting replacements in 2018 and 2020.

    Perhaps this solution would have worked better in the smaller district from which Dr Greene hails. This is going to have repercussions impactimg the community at large (ie traffic patterns) as well as students and parents.

    Will the voices of the parents be honored and this decision reconsidered, or will we be roundly ignored?

  38. The board and administration have undoubtedly picked up on the unhappiness from the community. It has further occurred to them that this all could have been avoided with more identified inclement weather days. I believe the thoughts and comments from the community are heard, but at this point I doubt the administration believes they can unring that bell.

  39. Leslie Freymann

    Is there anything they could have done that wouldn’t amount to everyone complaining? If they did nothing, everyone would still complain. Personally, I’m happy with the solution/compromise. We already have plans/reservations for Fall, Winter and Summer breaks and I wouldn’t want kids to miss instructional hours. This schedule change is at the bottom of the bucket of First World Problems, in my opinion.

  40. Stan, I’m not a lawyer. But this just on the face of it seems wrong, even if not illegal. Are you really on board with the idea that the superintendent can, at will, change the work day for employees and add to their workload? Are you going to argue for a 4% pay increase for this period to cover the 4% increase in work time?
    All this is going to do, apart from really pissing off all the parents, is increase the stream of teachers moving to other Districts. If we can’t trust the superintendent not to change our work terms in the middle of the school year, how can we trust him on anything else?
    If there was going to be even the slightest bit of positive educational benefit to come from this, I could swallow it. But as many have pointed out, the idea that this will help the kids is a joke.

  41. I support and advocate for using the February inclement weather day, the November Election Day and cutting loose the other two days.

    I’m not a lawyer either, but it seems like he is within his legal boundaries to implement this. I am a consistent advocate for increasing the pay for school house employees.

  42. Here is my question… On the “Eclipse Day,” subs were dismissed at the normal bell because DCSD did not want to pay “overtime” for the day. Students were displaced into other teachers classroom. Is this going to be the same SOP for the next two months? DCSD already has a hard time finding subs. Wasn’t last years total somewhere over 30,000+ days subs were not in a classroom? Now, you are going to have teachers who already had extra kids in their room from a sub not taking a job, to adding more students in the classroom when the end of the regular school day comes. Seriously, what good is that going to do? At some point packing a student into a classroom has to be a fire hazard, because if your school has trailers, you can’t pack them in there.

  43. Lynn, excellent question. Obviously we can’t do that with subs every day. Subs are non exempt employees. I’m not a lawyer, but it looks like we will have to pay them to reflect the extra time. As far as I can tell, the administration has not contemplated this aspect of their decision.

  44. Thanks for asking about the inclement weather days. Odd that they didn’t label them on the calendar like the Feb. day, odd that they considered 4 in the first semester prior to winter (we would have had to have had a natural disaster the first week of school to use fall break and even then, most people would have already made plans – what were they thinking?) and odd they only have 1 make up during the winter/spring. They better hope for a mild winter! Next year when they present the calendar, I hope the Board will veto any recommendation that doesn’t have more identified/built in days.

  45. I’ve never seen the board vote ‘no’ on anything…. ever.

  46. @Stan: Think about this and I am using the middle school contract hours since there would be a 10-minute gap. Contract hours are 8:10 – 4:10. Students will have to move before 4:10 to their new classroom. Now, you may have a class with every learning style imaginable in a class that is designed for High Achieving students. They are not on the same page in the book and not studying the concept with the same rigor. So basically, what will happen is all learning will stop at 4:10 every day and homework will commence.

    I am still a fan that we could get rid of the ridiculous Pre and Post Test for every concept, and having school on Election Day and Thursday, December 21. Most parents would not leave town until Friday or Saturday anyway. Boom, there are your three makeup days. Nothing has been lost, and no added stress to teachers, parents, or families.

  47. DCSD gave staff and family 9 days notice to alter their schedule. It is unnecessary to rush this decision. There are other options that could’ve been discussed with the staff and community before making a decision in a week’s time— as of the 9/18/17 board meeting nothing was decided and three days later there’s a well-thought out plan? Please.
    If DCSD is insistent in recouping all 4 missed days, here’s an idea that doesn’t alter people’s schedules for 49 days:
    1) take 11/7 election day-teacher work day
    2) take 1/3/18- teacher work day
    3) take 2/16/18- identified bad weather make up day
    4) take 3/9/18- teacher professional development day

    Or, an even better idea—start building in true bad weather make up days. Not those ‘not really identified as a make up days, but we can use them (such as Fall Break) anyway.’

  48. FRES- you’re right. It really is that simple. There nothing educationally beneficial about the extra minutes being added to each day. All I see here are tired kids and exhausted teachers.

  49. Mr Jester,
    According to Dr. Green’s comment the school can : ” concentrate the time in one instructional area to focus on a particular instruction program.’ I wonder how that would look ? For example, if all math classes are being extended 20 minutes, what is going on in the rest of the classes in the school?
    DeKalb is a large district with schools on various schedules. It is not clear from the information given how some of the centers or programs are to provide the extra 20 minutes. What about schools like DeKalb School of Technology South? Those students are transported back to their home schools in time for them to get a bus to go home. What will that staff do with the additional 20 minutes and no students to teach? Will those students stay at that school longer each day?
    How will this impact our bus drivers? We all know Atlanta traffic. The extra 20 minutes could mean that it will take longer for some busses to run their scheduled routes. It is very difficult to get bus drivers. If it takes longer to get children home, will the bus drivers be compensated for the additional time?
    What about the schedule of the custodians? Rooms cannot be cleaned until their are no students in the room. This is especially true in elementary schools that have fewer custodians and are dealing with younger children. If custodians have to stay later to clean their rooms, will they be compenstated?
    DeKalb has games in other districts. It seems like schools are going to have to deal with the team, cheerleaders, flag corp band and staff leaving at the “regular time” so that they will be able to arrive on time.
    Mr. Jester, I don’t know of any teachers or parents that were apart of this decision. If there had been more input from the school staff and parents, perhaps some of these issues would have been addressed. As it is, we find ourselves with questions that our principals are not able to answer.

  50. Fres… taking Jan 3 is a very bad idea. We turned it in to a furlough day a few years ago and high school teachers came back from final exams with no prep time to start 2nd semester. It was a mess. Many didn’t have their syllabus ready, rooms weren’t reset for new classes. Since most of those make up days are after many high school students take Milestones, those days are of little use to many students and teachers.

  51. Stan,

    Do you know who served on the committee the superintendent references in his email and how they generated the list of options that they also vetted?

    I’d also like to know how the superintendent and committee considered the district’s “Digital Dreamers” program.

    The September 2nd edition of CrossRoad News explains that our school district is investing $27 million in laptops for teachers and students.I don’t know how much we’re spending on the Curriculum and Instruction Division and the Division of Information Technology and the Division of Student Support and Interventions nor how much we spent on our new curriculum. I assume you could get those figures.

    I can’t understand why students couldn’t get digital resources to recoup some of that instructional time at home. Everything the school district publishes about these laptops/chromebooks cites the ability for students to now do things at home. In addition, the divisions of curriculum and instruction and information technology and student support could team up to create some of those interventions the board was told about in the March 20th powerpoint about the curriculum design process.

  52. Newdekalbparent

    I am confused. There is a discussion about protecting instructional time. What is GEAR UP? My daughter stated that her 8th grade class went to a stadium to hear about college readiness. They returned to school with a sack lunch and water.

  53. chamblee getting screwed

    Well I got the parent email from Chamblee High and the geniuses at the high school have published a new schedule that…wait for it….adds a whole 2 minutes per class. Classes are now 52 minutes. Brilliant.

  54. CGS- and your superior plan is?? I agree that this is a fiasco, but the added time to each class seems the least harmful solution.

  55. Ya’ll never satisfied. It’s 2-3 minutes per class. Not that serious, move on.

  56. Not a good solution when Kittredge says the time will be used at the end of the day in homeroom for homework and extra recess. 2 things that could be done at home.

  57. chamblee getting screwed

    Edugator – I hope you really aren’t an educator, because if you are..whoa…but then again, you’d be a perfect fit for DeKalb County schools. Please explain to me how 2 minutes per class is going to do one bit of good? 2 minutes. This is checking off a box and making people’s lives miserable…brilliant.

  58. chamblee getting screwed

    Just sayin – exactly how is 2 minutes per class going to help at
    all? It’s a collosal cluster. But I would expect nothing less from DeKalb Schools.

  59. CGS- you are a ray of sunshine! Thanks for the constructive additions to the discussion. It is pointless exercise in box checking, but if they’re going to do it anyway, what else makes sense?

  60. I posted this a couple of days ago and I am still a firm believe that this would be a better option than what been proposed by central office.

    Get rid of the ridiculous Pre and Post Test for every concept, and having school on Election Day and Thursday, December 21. Most parents would not leave town until Friday or Saturday anyway. Boom, there are your three makeup days. Nothing has been lost, and no added stress to teachers, parents, or families.

  61. Make the lunch period more tolerable and put the time there! It is miniscule amount of time every day in 7 classes at the high school level. Of course when you tally the cumulative minutes you’ve got a metric to tout. Have you ever tried to explain a chemistry formula or algebraic equation or read more Shakespeare in < 3 minutes??

  62. DCSDumpsterFire

    Or extend one period every week at 20 minutes. The 2 minutes per period is insane. And these are educators?!? They’ve been trained at this?!? How is it that parents can figure it out but the people that are paid to do it can’t?

  63. The Superintendent said, “The division of the 20 minutes, while it may be divided across multiple periods, there is no requirement for it to be implemented in that fashion. The division of the extended time will be a school-based decision at all levels”

  64. At least Middle School students in Dekalb are already stuck with “extra learning time” in many cases, and it is absolute joke

    My daughter’s extra learning time is is 45 minutes of Georgia Studies. She already has *another* 45 minutes of Georgia Studies (instead of an actual social studies class that covers something she did not already learn in 2nd grade Georgia Studies–I joke not; same material she learned in 2nd grade).

    Not hopeful.

    This is being done purely to hit some accreditation requirement with no plan for implementation

    If, for example, they had said, “Period 1 will be extended by 20 minutes for two weeks, then Period 2 by twenty the next two weeks”, etc., I might believe that this is about instruction time.

    Instead, they just dumped it out there and forgot about it.

    Unforgivable. I hope people remember this next election and vote for some school hoard members with some common sense.

  65. Brian, I don’t think the Schoolboard members were involved on this decision making plan. Stan, can you confirm that, please. Also, I think that’s a great suggestion, Brian, about each period taking a week of extending instruction for 20 minutes. You should send it to school administration for sure. Different schools have different schedules. Block, tutorials built-in, etc. I think the flexibility for each school to use those minutes in ways that serve their population best is a good thing.

  66. Well, I do not disagree with you about local control in concept, I also see this being a giant mess for the same reason.

    Some schools will do smart things while others will do foolish things. (I have $20 says a certain warden, I mean principal, at a former elementary school my children used to attend will do something useless with it, like lock the kids in a room).

    Regardless, simple declaring this was foolish. Give some options. Why not offer the types of things I suggest?

    They clearly gave it zero thought. They just wanted to keep accreditation and were scared of the backlash if they dared use a predefined Inclement Weather day and someone was pissed about it conflicting with their vacation.

    In an effort to avoid that they did something worse.

    I would happily ignore an Inclement Weather day that was switched to a school day if I had a vacation and I would send my kids if I had no plans.

    It is maybe one day.

    This hurts me every single day. Every single day. For three months.

    And, lest anyone thinks I am all about the me, I have already pointed out that (for example) music teachers will lose a lot of money. If they have 3:00 slots at maybe $25 per lesson (conservatively for a decent teacher) that is $125 per week if lost revenue.
    You cannot reschedule those. You cannot say, “I’m booked until 9:00, so I’ll take your kid at 9:00 and finish at 9:30. Your theirs grader will be fine”

    They just lose that money.

  67. Policy gives the Superintendent the authority to make the decision unilaterally. Good idea. Talk to your principal. They can implement this as they see fit for their school.

  68. Stan, there are multiple problems with that response.

    1. Each principal can do anything they darn well please. Chamblee MS appears to be adding 3 minutes to every class period. I understand why. It is easy on the teachers. They don’t have to actually do anything except talk more slowly. [NOTE: increased instructional time: zero]
    2. It ignores all the problems with after school activities. This is completely screwing after school music teachers, dance teachers, drama teachers, etc., many of whom are also teachers in the DCSD. The superintendent is doing them a massive disservice.
    3. Related to the previous point, many of these programs require prepayment by families and now they will lose that money. It is simply gone–nothing that they can do about it except check their kids out of school early [NOTE: change to instructional time, negative] and face the wrath of Dekalb law which allows for parents who do this to face prison time.
    4. You are a school board member and your superintendent completely screwed the pooch on this one. Defending him, rather than calling him to task for such an absolutely massive mistake, guarantees that my vote, at least, will go elsewhere next time I see your name on the ballot.

    That’s last point is not a threat–it is simple cause and effect. You are simply wrong to defend this in any way, shape, or form. Stand up for what is right. That is what good leaders do.

  69. Brian, I’m just giving you the facts, I’m not defending anybody.

    I advocated to reclaim the Nov 7 Election Day and let the other days go. I have 3 kids in school and this completely blows up our schedule too.

    I’m curious to see what the other schools do with this time. I’ll collect as many as possible and post them on my website.

    Remember, the board of education is the legislative body of the school district. I am only 1 of 7 votes. Policy AEA gives the Superintendent the authority to reschedule lost time due to emergencies and/or inclement weather without coming to the board.

  70. Going forward, if the BOE so desired, they could change Policy AEA to give the BOE the ability to vote up or down the superintendent’s recommendations for reclaiming lost days. And the BOE can address any of the superintendent’s decisions when they do his annual evaluation – again if they choose. The BOE has the responsibility of holding the superintendent accountable for the academic success of all children and that includes all decisions the superintendent makes and all recommendations he brings before the BOE. The BOE can actually vote no on recommendations.

  71. I am not surprised at Chamblee Middle doing that. What a poor excuse for a middle school. Non-existent leadership.

  72. Concerned Administrator

    Hello Mr. Jester and DeKalb Community,
    It was reported on Channel 2 that the dates for the extended day have been changed? Didn’t the state give the district a “pass” and the days don’t technically need to be made up? Did the Superintendent consult with the board, cabinet, and community before a decision was made? This was a very bad call on behalf of the Superintendent.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/dekalb-county/dekalb-county-school-district-adjusts-schedule-for-make-up-days-due-to-irma/615862451

  73. Make-Up plan has changed. I’ll post the details and some of my thoughts on that tomorrow morning. The AJC should be coming out with something shortly as well.

    O.C.G.A. § 20-2-168(c)(3) says, “A [school district] may, without the necessity of authorization from the state board, elect not to complete, as make-up days, up to four additional days otherwise needed which are the result of days when school was closed due to emergency, disaster”

    Furthermore, Strategic Waiver School Systems (SWSS), which DeKalb Schools is, has waivers from all the laws requiring the school district to have 180 days of school.

    I gave Superintendent Green my unsolicited thoughts on this matter over the weekend.