DeKalb Schools Calendar Update

According to DeKalb Schools, the Calendar Committee met on Tuesday, October 15th, to review the proposed calendar options, make modifications, and select the options that will be included in the survey. The co-chairpersons finalized the surveys on October 17th. The Office of Accountability is preparing to release the survey any day now. The final recommendation should be on the Board of Education agenda for approval Nov 4, 2019.

CALENDAR ATTRIBUTES

First Day Of School – I agree, it is absurd to start in July. Across Metro Atlanta, the first day of school for Fall 2020 varies from August 3 to August 10. When would you like to start? Is the general consensus, no earlier than August 10?

Balanced Calendar – The vast majority of DCSD high schools are on the block schedule system, meaning that students take 4 classes in the fall semester and 4 classes in the spring semester. Is it important to have the same number of days in the Fall and Spring semesters?

Early Release Days – Every year teachers express the desire for more planning time. Next year Henry County and Rockdale County schools will have 1 to 4 early release days. Do we want to consider an early release day or two? A number of people have suggested half days during finals. Any thoughts about that?


Calendar Committee Selection Process
According to Stacy Stepney, DeKalb Schools Chief Academic Officer,

“In an effort to ensure that there were regional representatives, the 2018 Regional Teachers of the Year, 2018 Regional Educational Support Professionals I of the Year, 2018 Regional Educational Support Professionals II of the Year, and 2019 Principals of the Year were invited to attend. Other teachers were randomly selected. Community/business partners and parents were randomly selected from advisory groups and recommendations from principals. To promote student involvement, members of our Career Technology Student Organizations are participating as school ambassadors.”

2020-2022 Calendar Committee

  1. Ferin Abdulla (Cross Keys High School)
  2. Christopher Addison (MUFG Banking)
  3. Solomon Bauzuaye (Sequoyah Middle School)
  4. Keisha Best (DeKalb Alternative School, Lithonia Middle School, and Stone Mountain High School)
  5. Dawn Blackwell (Bob Mathis Elementary School)
  6. Ronald Brown (Chamblee Charter High School)
  7. Paris Byrd (Arabia Mountain High School)
  8. Paul Camick (CTAE and Co-chairperson)
  9. Robert Carter (Chick Fil A)
  10. Carolita Chester-Benton (Marbut Elementary School)
  11. Dyanne Christian (Loft)
  12. Kyia Clark (Stone Mill Elementary School)
  13. Duane Clark (Champion Theme School)
  14. David Collins (Fernbank Science Center)
  15. Edward Conner (DeKalb Early College Academy)
  16. Eleanor Cox (Princeton Elementary School)
  17. Deirdre Edwards (Department of Natural Resources)
  18. Fuad Faruque (Stone Mountain Middle School)
  19. Linda Frazier (Office of Accountability and Co-chairperson)
  20. Johnathon Hines (Barack Obama Elementary School)
  21. Ursula Jackson (Stoneview Elementary School)
  22. Andrew Jameson (Dunwoody High School)
  23. Taquavia Jones (Stephenson High School)
  24. Jolene Key (Livsey Elementary School)
  25. Lisa Limoncelli (Hawthorne Elementary School)
  26. Demetrius Lofton (Peachcrest Elementary School)
  27. Sharon Malcom (Lithonia Middle School)
  28. Tanya Mason (Arabia Mountain High School)
  29. LaShawn McMillan (John Lewis Elementary School)
  30. Everett Patrick (Professional Learning)
  31. Nia Porter (Delta Airlines )
  32. Tracy Reese (Cedar Grove High School)
  33. Emily Rogers (Henderson Mill Elementary School)
  34. Margie Smith (DeKalb Alternative School)
  35. Stacy Stepney (Curriculum and Instruction and Co-chairperson)
  36. Alexandra Sucar (Hawthorne Elementary School)
  37. Jermain Sumler-Faison (Wynbrooke Elementary School)
  38. Tuqwan Taylor (Lithonia Middle School)
  39. Trent Taylor (Centers for Disease Control (CDC))
  40. LouKisha Walker (McNair High School)
  41. Shandra White (Columbia High School, Columbia Middle School, and DeKalb Alternative School)

34 responses to “DeKalb Schools Calendar Update

  1. Please not July beginning! For teachers or students!

  2. Agreed Concerned too. Please no July start for teachers or students. Way too early. And please try and coordinate Spring Break with other metro systems.

  3. OK. Good feedback. Our Summers seem to be getting shorter and shorter don’t they? The school district tries to coordinate Spring Break with the other Metro area school systems.

  4. As long as we’re out before Memorial Day so we don’t have to come back on that Tuesday, I don’t care much about starting last day or so of July (as a teacher). What really irritates me is the Workday after Christmas being on a Friday. That effectively cuts our break by 3 days.

  5. How we arrange the deck chairs between the first and last day is secondary to me. The only issue I’m passionate about is not being in school in July in any capacity. Not good for families, the weather is hot, school AC is dicey at best, and kids don’t benefit from quality time on a bus at 4 in the afternoon. I’d push the start date back further and end after Memorial Day, but I guess that ship has sailed.

  6. DeKalb Veteran

    I’m sure they enjoyed free chick-fil-a at all of their meetings,check out the committee details. Kinda jealous.

  7. Christina Bowens

    I feel as though starting in July is way too early. Let the children get out in June, a couple of more weeks won’t hurt them.

  8. Wanda Hammonds

    Starting school in July is TOO EARLY! The temperature is still very hot outside and in school buildings. Not to mention those students who ride buses or walk. The winter holidy break is shorter because of 1 or 2 days being strategically taken away. I suggest startinf after Labor Day with the end of the school year beinv pushed in middle /late June.

  9. @Edu… growing up, every Memorial Day was spent in the car driving home from Florida to be at school Tuesday. I’d rather not go back to that as a teacher, and kids are already checking out…
    @Wanda… never gonna happen… first semester would end in late January and what would AP students do for two months after they test?

  10. CALENDAR ATTRIBUTES

    First Day Of School – Across Metro Atlanta, the first day of school for Fall 2020 varies from August 3 to August 10.

    Balanced Calendar – The vast majority of DCSD high schools are on the block schedule system, meaning that students take 4 classes in the fall semester and 4 classes in the spring semester. Is it important to have the same number of days in the Fall and Spring semesters?

    Early Release Days – Every year teachers express the desire for more planning time. Next year Henry County and Rockdale County schools will have 1 to 4 early release days. Do we want to consider an early release day or two?

  11. Can we have a full week for fall break in October? Please!?!? I’m willing to start in July. That first week I’m August is tough to find camps/childcare!

  12. I’m a former northern teacher who now teaches in Dekalb. I started the year in 1 of 15 trailers at my school with a shotty air conditioning unit. School ends in June in the northern states. The South has the same FARM schedule that they introduced decades ago. (Have you seen a tractor on East Ponce lately?)
    Early release days are apart of most progressive and successful school system schedules. Get with it Dekalb!

  13. This and That

    DeKalb did have early release days. I believe it was in the early 2000s. And for many, many years Thanksgiving break was Wed, Thur, Friday of Thanksgiving week. THEN the early release for Thanksgiving Break – full day Monday, early release Tues, then off Wed, Thur, Fri. Then a few years it was a full week (I have been here since ’95 and that never happened before). DeKalb just keeps changing things! Anyone else remember of that??

  14. tanisha freeman

    No No!!!! July start I don’t think so because you have families who take vacations among other things. What are you doing Dekalb!!!!! We need more organization and better leadership than this. We look over the parents. They need to be involved in these decisions concerning our students and other things that are happening in the district.

  15. dekalbteacher

    So much of what Dekalb does makes no sense.

    Why do teachers get a full week to prepare for first semester and one day to finish first semester and prepare for second semester?

    What happened to teacher work days? After the furlough days years ago, we never brought back the days to do the work students need. Our new leaders are the ones who must have been working on their degrees during those days instead of working for students. Now we have “professional development” days. Call it professional and everything else takes care of itself.

    What is the rationale for balanced semesters? So much testing second semester with EOCs, EOGS, MAP, benchmarks. No way these days are equal.

    Is the district still allowing four-day “work” weeks (another misnomer like “professional”) during the summer? Anyone want to explain how much “work” they saw going on in schools or at the central office on those longer Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays?

    Alternate make-up days are not good enough for staff and students. Hey kids, we might take a trip if we don’t have school. We’ll just wait and see and hope there are seats, tickets, etc… and those will be affordable. That’s not how our leaders plan their “professional” conferences or their personal time over the summer, is it?

    What are the chromebooks and all this digital learning for? Kind of feels like the people in curriculum and instruction and accountability forgot about digital learning for make-up.

    Who decided we need these days this way? We’re a charter district.

  16. Stan,
    With so many high schools on block, a balanced calendar is a must.

    Early release days would be a wonderful addition. Most school systems have early release days for high schools during final exams. Expecting a student to take 4 exams in one day is ridiculous. Teachers would love the time to actually grade the final exams before having to go on break. One year DeKalb did have early release days during the last two days of each semester (I believe it was the 2003-2004 school year). Many elementary school parents complained about the early release. If that is a problem, then have early release for the high schools, since they are the ones with final exams.

    Also, teachers really do need more time to prepare for 2nd semester (one day really isn’t enough), and more time to end the school year (this could be accomplished with early release days). Please consider adding early release days to the schedule. It would not change the calendar and would be a logical step to giving teachers more time when they really need it.

    Also, the teacher workdays during the year need to be actual teacher workdays, not professional learning days (where teachers are required to sit in meetings most of the day). Most professional learning for the district now takes place in VERGE and teachers are required to do it on their own time anyway. Why can’t the days in November and March actually be workdays?

  17. July start is ridiculous. My cousin teaches in a resort town in Michigan. They start the Tuesday after Labor Day and have no days off until Thanksgiving Day. They specifically do this to lengthen the summer season. Perhaps we don’t need to be that extreme, but I also think a 5 day fall break + a full week at thanksgiving is ridiculous if it means starting so early.

    We don’t need to take Election Day off now that polling places have moved out of the schools. A random Tuesday off is really disruptive to the entire week.

  18. While I agree that July is way too early, the temperature is no different in July than August so that point is moot.

  19. I agree with Sarah G. No need for so many days for fall Break and then Thanksgiving break. I don’t believe block is working well either. Any way to change that so that we can get off this balanced semester thing?

  20. It would be great if school would start later in August … I can’t even hope for the day after the Labor Day… that would be amazing!!

  21. Start in August. Shorten Fall Break or Thanksgiving. July start date doesn’t make sense. Nothing makes sense in Dekalb at the moment.

  22. Parent conference days should be coupled with early release to allow for more time slots for parents to come. Gwinnett does this, and it’s helpful.

  23. Calendar critic

    I vote for staff to return on 8/3 and students to return on 8/10. I never liked early release days as a teacher. The day felt rushed and unproductive. Parents complained endlessly about childcare issues. Maybe they would work on the first and last days of school each semester. I’m a fan of 3 and 4 day weekends, but can’t afford a whole week of vacation. I don’t need a week at Thanksgiving and two weeks off at Christmas. Get rid of block scheduling. High schoolers need 24 credits to graduate, not 32. The state and county need to figure out a better use of time for non-testing students during EOC and AP testing. Kids sitting and doing nothing for 3 hours is ridiculous.

  24. Why call it FALL 2020 when school starts in the heart of the summer?? I didn’t grow up here – I grew up in the northeast. Making kids start school in the hottest part of summer makes no sense to me. Start later, end later…most parents will agree. It used to be like that here I’m told….why has it changed so much? I feel so bad for my child who has to go back to school in the beginning of August. We don’t need all of these breaks – I’ll take less breaks and a longer summer. I like what Sarah G said.

  25. I think a digital learning day makes more sense than early release

  26. August 10!!!
    Camps end too close to August 3!!
    I hate early release days!
    Need to feed lunch to kids!
    Such a waste to bus kids to school & turn around & bus them home!
    Rather have a teacher work day/ no students!

  27. Later the start date the better, especially with lack of working air condition. Personally, I would do with no fall break if it meant staying even later

  28. The CALENDAR B OPTIONS are TERRIBLE! Both have school ending FRIDAY, MAY 21 (20) and TEACHERS RETURNING for a WORKDAY on MONDAY, MAY 24 (23)

    OPTION A: Teachers return the first week of August, students the second week
    May Teacher Workday is FRIDAY!

    I will always vote for the LATER start to school. A couple others have mentioned starting after, or near, Labor Day – PLEASE!
    I would also like to see a calendar where the school year where we start on a Wednesday. Give us a 3 day week to start the year (Teacher workdays: Wednesday – Friday, Monday and Tuesday)

    I love the idea of half-days, but the school day becomes nothing more than running students through the cafeteria.

  29. Please do NOT start school in July. That’s ridiculous. Also, based on the number of schools with AC issues, rooms with temps up in the 80’s and 90’s, kids can’t use the gym for the first 2 months as it is (Vanderlyn) and them literally falling asleep in a class because it’s so hot.

    We had short days on Wednesday’s when I was a child. Seemed to work fine for me as a student and was great for athletics. Not sure how that works for ASP though and kids sitting around longer.

  30. Please no half days! The coordinating is difficult for schools and parents. I would also vote for an earlier spring break so DeKalb students and employees can enjoy an earlier spring break, and not have to follow APS and Fulton County. It’s not necessary for the entire metro Atlanta area to be on spring break at the same time. Let’s zig, when everyone else zags!

  31. Court-O. Thanks for your feedback. I like the idea of staggered Spring Breaks, but a number of sk

  32. I like the idea of staggered Spring Breaks, but a lot of families spend Spring Break with families from other counties. That’s a tough one.

  33. Agree with CG….move spring break up to March like all the private schools – it splits the semester up…April is too late to give students and teachers a much needed break before the last push of cramming for tests and testing/exams. School gets out 5-6 weeks later and there are basically no breaks from Jan. 4 to April except MLK and a day or so in Feb.

  34. Start after Labor day and do away with Fall break, have 1/2 days in October for teacher conferences.

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