Marshall Orson and I pushed for a later start date to no avail. School will start next year on Aug 3, 2020. We’ll have a balanced calendar and numerous holidays. The administration relied heavily on the advice of the committee and results of the survey. The rest of the board relied heavily on the administration.
The 2020-2022 Calendar Committee included representation from the following stakeholder groups: parents, students, school-level staff, principals, district-level staff, and community/business partners.
The Calendar Committee developed calendar options by considering 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. Stakeholders provided input through an online survey that opened October 21, 2019 and closed October 30, 2019. The committee members analyzed the responses and comments received from 30,510 respondents before preparing the final calendar recommendations.
Points of Interest
The 2020-2022 school calendars contain the following features:
• Balanced Calendar – 90 instructional days each semester
• 5 identified inclement weather days each semester (10 total per year)
2020-2021 Approved Calendar
2021-2022 Approved Calendar
DeKalb Schools 2020 – 2022 Calendar
|DeKalb Schools Calendar||2020-2021||2021-2022|
|Pre-planning||Jul 27 – Jul 31, 2020||Jul 26 – Jul 30, 2020|
|First day of school||Aug 3, 2020||Aug 2, 2020|
|Labor Day||Sept 7, 2020||Sept 6, 2020|
|Fall Break (Including Columbus Day)||Oct 8 – Oct 12, 2020||Oct 7 – Oct 11, 2020|
|Election Day/Teacher’s Workday||Nov 3, 2020||Nov 2, 2020|
|Thanksgiving Break||Nov 23 – Nov 27, 2020||Nov 22 – Nov 26, 2020|
|Last day of 1st semester||Dec 18, 2020||Dec 17, 2020|
|Winter Break||Dec 21 – Jan 1, 2021||Dec 20 – Dec 31, 2020|
|Post planning 1st semester/ Pre-planning 2nd semester||Jan 4, 2021||Jan 3, 2021|
|First day of 2nd semester||Jan 5, 2021||Jan 4, 2021|
|Martin L. King Day||Jan 18, 2021||Jan 17, 2021|
|Feb Break (Including President’s Day)||Feb 12 – Feb 15, 2021||Feb 18 – Feb 21, 2021|
|Professional Learning Day||Mar 12, 2021||Mar 11, 2021|
|Spring Break||April 5 – April 9, 2021||April 4 – April 8, 2021|
|Last day of school||May 21, 2021||May 20, 2021|
|Post planning||May 24, 2021||May 23, 2021|
|Memorial Day||May 31, 2021||May 30, 2021|
2020-2022 Calendar Committee
- Ferin Abdulla (Cross Keys High School)
- Christopher Addison (MUFG Banking)
- Solomon Bauzuaye (Sequoyah Middle School)
- Keisha Best (DeKalb Alternative School, Lithonia Middle School, and Stone Mountain High School)
- Dawn Blackwell (Bob Mathis Elementary School)
- Ronald Brown (Chamblee Charter High School)
- Paris Byrd (Arabia Mountain High School)
- Paul Camick (CTAE and Co-chairperson)
- Robert Carter (Chick Fil A)
- Carolita Chester-Benton (Marbut Elementary School)
- Dyanne Christian (Loft)
- Kyia Clark (Stone Mill Elementary School)
- Duane Clark (Champion Theme School)
- David Collins (Fernbank Science Center)
- Edward Conner (DeKalb Early College Academy)
- Eleanor Cox (Princeton Elementary School)
- Deirdre Edwards (Department of Natural Resources)
- Fuad Faruque (Stone Mountain Middle School)
- Linda Frazier (Office of Accountability and Co-chairperson)
- Johnathon Hines (Barack Obama Elementary School)
- Ursula Jackson (Stoneview Elementary School)
- Andrew Jameson (Dunwoody High School)
- Taquavia Jones (Stephenson High School)
- Jolene Key (Livsey Elementary School)
- Lisa Limoncelli (Hawthorne Elementary School)
- Demetrius Lofton (Peachcrest Elementary School)
- Sharon Malcom (Lithonia Middle School)
- Tanya Mason (Arabia Mountain High School)
- LaShawn McMillan (John Lewis Elementary School)
- Everett Patrick (Professional Learning)
- Nia Porter (Delta Airlines )
- Tracy Reese (Cedar Grove High School)
- Emily Rogers (Henderson Mill Elementary School)
- Margie Smith (DeKalb Alternative School)
- Stacy Stepney (Curriculum and Instruction and Co-chairperson)
- Alexandra Sucar (Hawthorne Elementary School)
- Jermain Sumler-Faison (Wynbrooke Elementary School)
- Tuqwan Taylor (Lithonia Middle School)
- Trent Taylor (Centers for Disease Control (CDC))
- LouKisha Walker (McNair High School)
- Shandra White (Columbia High School, Columbia Middle School, and DeKalb Alternative School)
November 3, 2019 – On Monday DeKalb Schools administration is recommending approving the school calendars for the next two school years. It looks like the community and administration favor an early start and balanced calendar.
October 21, 2019 – Please complete this poll on the DeKalb Schools Calendar Attributes so I can better understand where the majority of the community stands.
2020-2021 Calendar Options
October 21, 2019 – Look at the calendar options and what the other Metro Atlanta school districts are doing. Let me know your thoughts about the Start Date, Balanced Calendar and Early Release days.
DeKalb Schools Calendar Update
October 18, 2019 – 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.
I still have a hard time believing that over 30K people took the survey and on top of that students wanted the August 3 start date. Especially when Dan Drake stated that the county only got 850 responses about the Go Bond/SPLSOT V survey.
Something just does not add up.
Why are we still allowing a man who has resigned to make decisions and run our school system?
And why is Stacey Stepney still in charge of the calendaring process? Time for a fresh face to coordinate the process and bring in new ideas/people/processes.
What Lynn King said.
@Lynn King, citizens have participated in the calendar survey for several years thus it is known by more. It is fair to say that some of more energized about the calendar than the GO Bond.
Orson’s suggestion that the number of responses was questionable could cause harm with future outreach efforts to get community feedback. If he has proof of fraud, he should present it but to speculate given his position is not good. As Stan knows, one could check the IP addresses of the responses to see if they are unique. At the end of the day, the calendar has been the same for the past few years so it should not be a surprise to most parents, teachers and students.
@Cathy D, there seems to be a misunderstanding. Dr. Green has not resigned, he merely indicated he is not seeking an extension of his contract which ends on June 30, 2020. Like in APS with their superintendent, he is our superintendent until his contract expires. If the Board wants to move on from him prior to June 30, they will need to negotiate a settlement, meaning paying him and an interim.
@ John… Yes, the calendar has changed. Teachers have always gone back the first week of August and the students have gone back the second week of August. There is a big difference here, you may not understand it, but being a teacher myself it is huge. When Cobb starts on August 3, they have a full week off in September and another full week In February. DeKalb does not offer that.
I am also worried now that this calendar is out, teachers are not happy at all. I have read many Facebook post by my fellow friends who will not be back next year. They would rather go to a district that starts later or go to Cobb and get the week long breaks. With many young people not going into teaching today, this is really scary because we need quality teachers and retain those teachers. How many articles has Marlon Walker written over the years for the AJC about how many teachers we are short the beginning of the school year and how long many classes has subs in those classrooms?
Also, I bet in all surveys for calendars for many years, that total would not equal 30K.
Ok, so if the students wanted the new start date so bad, why didn’t ANY member of the board ask the Redan Middle School student who was part of the board last night, what they wanted? I bet you it would have been for a later start date, and if he said that, then he would be in the majority of all students in the system.
@Lynn King, first off, thank you for being a teacher. Given the heightened expectations of those in your profession, citizens do appreciate what you and others in the schoolhouse do for our children.
I would have preferred to see the calendar go 3 more days, ending on Wednesday, May 26 and make the Winter Break longer. This would still allow teachers to finish before Memorial Day. Other than that the calendars are similar. You also have to factor in that Cobb has 178 days scheduled vs. 180 for DeKalb (and most other districts). Starting or ending the school year mid-week can cause challenges for some parents and I am sure that was a factor.
I’m sure you will agree that those suggesting we go back to having no breaks in the Fall (other than Thanksgiving, remember when we went through Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving Day?) or Winter don’t have a clue about the need for teachers to have those breaks. I know many teachers that remember those days and are appreciative of breaks sprinkled throughout the year. The last thing they want is what Lisa Morgan requested during her Citizen’s Comment feedback, true teacher workdays without meetings scheduled the entire day. Take the slash out of Workday/Professional Development.
Here’s one kid’s rationale for voting in favor of the early start — my daughter will be a senior next year, and she told me she prefers the early start so that graduation day will come sooner! My kids also appreciate the breaks during the semester — it gives them a chance to take a breath and catch up a little on their sleep.
I do not believe for one second that the employees wanted this early start date. Now, we don’t even get all of July. I am very disappointed. We need an outside accountant to review the votes. I smell a rat. I do not trust we had a vote.
Lynn King – “this is really scary because we need quality teachers and retain those teachers.”
This, times 1000!
AJC/Marlon Walker has an article up that hints at just how bottom-of-the-barrel *some* current Dekalb teachers are:
Imagine the school calls to tell you that your child is in ambulance on their way to the hospital….. then imagine how angry you would be if the teachers/paras who were with your child decided to remain silent and not tell administrators and/or the school police about what happened.
I don’t believe the results. I would like to see the data.
^ Teacher, the approved calendar matches up really well with the calendars of two national sororities– school is out on the days when sorority events are scheduled, pre-planning starts a few days after a national convention ends, etc. — so I can believe the results. Many teachers were motivated to vote for the approved calendar.
DSW2Contributor, interesting observation about the calendar alignment. I have re-examined the committee list and have a pretty good idea of what occurred. As usual, Region 1 by and large got the shaft. We have exactly five schools represented: John Lewis Elementary, Sequoyah Middle, Cross Keys High, Chamblee Charter High and Dunwoody High. There is one elementary and one middle school in our entire region that had representation in this process, and the Chamblee and Dunwoody clusters really got the shaft. This helps explain why Stan’s survey results look so different from the district results, the ridiculously large number of district respondents aside. The people following Stan’s blog (mostly from north Dekalb) weren’t properly represented on the committee, who I suspect drove the results of the entire process, and subsequent BOE vote. Stan, how can we ensure that all school levels from our region and specific clusters are better represented in the committee selection process going forward?
@ survey says, and that’s if those staff from region 1 were able to make it to the meetings!
I am an itinerant employee. Today, I did an informal poll at a region 2 school. Out of 22 teachers and paraprofessionals polled, ALL 22 said they preferred an August (later) start date. Not one, even hesitated.
I find it very hard to believe that a majority of others voted differently. I also, find it hard to believe that the
community wanted an early start either. Stan- can you authenticate the data obtained. It’s just hard to get my head around the outcome. If, the goal is for both semesters to have an even number of days, then that is what should be said, rather than saying it’s what the teachers or community support. The board and administration need to be truthful!
Lynn King is spot on! The later start date is supported by most teachers I know. Fulton/APS calendars appear to be a great balance between early-ish start and breaks throughout. A long fall break would not be needed if we did not start back so soon. I would even accept a slightly shorter Thanksgiving break as a week off of school with winter break immediately to follow seems a bit much. Behavior and focus is all but gone when mid November rolls around. Students know it’s break time upon break time!
While we are on the subject, let’s eliminate, at a minimum, the spring MAP testing which immediately follows the GA Milestone tests. Subtract those test days and attending school 178 days vs 180 is basically the same. Actually with 4 tests we would actually be ok with 176 days. The amount of MAP tests, district benchmarks, local benchmarks, RTI collection, it’s TOO MUCH! Most other countries with strong educational systems laugh at our obscene amount of testing and love of data collection. But we can save that for another post suffice it to say the days could be found to shorten the year and not lose ANY instructional time.
Are there even summer camps open that week before Memorial Day weekend?? Doesn’t make sense to not have the last day of school before the long weekend.
Lynn King and John Hope,
You both have valid points, but I think the underlying issue here is that the community has been bold faced lied to for so many years, there is a HUGE distrust. How do you know they are lying– easy- their lips are moving. Find me a consortium of parents and employees that feel this Superintendent, and the board really are looking after the children they are entrusted to educate, and the employees that have been hired to accomplish that task.
Unrelated to the calendar, but I was just talking to someone about how Ramona Tyson manages to stick around DeKalb with a level 5 certificate (for business ed & leadership…how many level 5 leadership certificates even exist??), earning 6-figures for years, waiting to be interim superintendent over and over again. Looks like she will be back. Again. Amazing.
WAIT!!! Tyson is back??!!? What is going on????? Stan, I am assuming you’re working on a post about this, or at least I hope.
Vote was taken this afternoon in a called meeting/executive session:
Survey Says, Technically the board reviewed and discussed the contracts in executive session. The board voted in the public called meeting. The contracts will be made public shortly.