DeKalb 2016-17 School Calendar

14. 2016-2017 & 2017-2018 School Calendars
Each school year, DeKalb County School District convenes a group of stakeholders to form a committee charged with exploring calendar options. The 2016-2018 Calendar Committee included representation from the following stakeholder groups: parents, students, school-level staff, principals, district-level staff, and community members.

 02/01/2016 – Work/Business
eboard link icon Agenda Item – 2016-2017 & 2017-2018 School Calendars

DeKalb Schools 2016-2017 Calendar
.pdf link icon  2016-2018 District Calendar Committee Executive Summary
.pdf link icon  2016-2018 Calendar Survey Results
.pdf link icon  2016-2018 Calendar Committee General Information & Metro Area Calendars
.pdf link icon  2016-2017 Proposed Calendar
.pdf link icon  2017-2018 Proposed Calendar

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. 

Go To Calendar

Mr. Knox Phillips, Director, Research, Assessments & Grants

Each school year, DeKalb County School District convenes a group of stakeholders to form a committee charged with exploring calendar options.  The 2016-2018 Calendar Committee included representation from the following stakeholder groups: parents, students, school-level staff, principals, district-level staff, and community members.

In accordance with Policy AEA, 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 January 22, 2016 and closed January 29, 2016.  The committee analyzed the responses and comments received from the 11,813 respondents before preparing the final calendar recommendations. The calendars are instructionally sound and align with similarly sized districts in close geographic proximity.

[00:09:13]

Stan Jester, Board of Education

The school calendar is obviously very important to parents.  These decisions shouldn’t be made so quickly in that this actual proposed calendar wasn’t released until yesterday.  We’ve only had 12 hours to look at it.  Since it was released, I’ve been flooded with emails, messages and questions.  I’m having a hard time making this decision on 12 hours notice.

Marshall Orson, Board of Education

I’ve been pushing for the two year calendar for 3 years.  I’m a big proponent of identifying inclement weather days.  There’s currently only one identified.  When there’s a weather event, it’s going to usually take more than one inclement weather day.  The last calendar had 3.  Other districts usually have 3.  That’s mainly from a planning standpoint.  Parents know if we have to go … unless the Governor says we don’t have to.  I’m a proponent of making those days up.

This particularly acute with schools with block schedule because every day is really 2 days.  I’d ask if we can identify some other inclement weather days.  I’d be comfortable if we could agree on 3 to defer to you to figure out which days make the most sense.  We should be giving parents notice.

I get locking in 2016 for the presidential election day, even cycle year, big elections.  Historically we don’t take off on odd numbered years because they aren’t big elections.  I raise that because it takes a day off the first semester.  I hear, particularly from block schedule parents because 1 day is 2 days, so when we are 2 days under, with 88 days in one semester, that is almost a full week missing in class time.  I’d like to at least take election day off the calendar for 2017.

Mr. Knox Phillips

We can always come back to the calendar at any time.

Orson

Instead of publishing it and republishing it, which creates confusion.  Inevitably somebody has the wrong calendar.  I’d like to resolve this and push 1 class room day to the following semester.  We have 3 days off in October that we haven’t had off in the past we can borrow from.  The 2017 November election traditionally doesn’t have high turn out.  If we can I’d like to get to 90 days per semester.

Vickie Turner, Board of Education

Will this delay us publishing the calendar?

Dr. Stephen Green, Superintendent

If we don’t get a vote, we can’t get it out.  It’ll delay people scheduling vacations

Orson

Or we can just figure it out here.  We could go back to the calendar committee, but it’s ultimately in our hands so we can decide here.  Before making a motion, I wanted to get your comfort level.

Turner

We have the pressure to get this calendar published.  I commend you for going through 11,000 responses.  That’s a lot of input, so I don’t understand what Mr. Jester’s problem is.  What more could we get?

Jester

We can’t get the calendar and have a respectable conversation with the public in 12 hours.  They’ve received our responses and suggestions, but the public didn’t see this calendar until yesterday.  So, I need more than 12 hours to discuss this with them.

Since this calendar has been published, and I realize it’s a catch 22,  but it is what it is.  I can’t make a decision in 12 hours.  I can’t talk to my constituency in 12 hours.  I’m getting flooded with emails, questions and suggestions.

Mr. Knox Phillips

The attributes to the calendar have been up just not with the exact dates and not in graphic form.

Dr. Joyce Morley, Board of Education

This information has been out, we’ve had mini sessions and all had the opportunity to give our input to say 88.  We’ve pushed and pushed to have this calendar provided earlier and earlier, so we got it.  A committee was put together and 11,000 responses to the survey.  Everybody had a chance to give input.

What kind of questions, how many people are we going to field questions from.  They’ve already had the opportunity to provide input.  We can not come back and yield to individual … there’s too many people.  We can please this and that group.  Then we get calls from other people that say why can you please my group.

We have to begin to be able to actually make some decisions and stick by them.  We are the board, we knew it was coming up.  Every little item.  We had an in depth understanding of what was going to be in there.  At some point, that’s why we are a board.  Policy and decisions, moving things forward.  We have to ask ourselves why do we delay some things, instead of just going ahead and making a decision.

…. yada yada yada … (for a few minutes)

[00:20:54]

Jim McMahan, Board of Education

I’m in a position to support and approve the 2016-17 calendar.  I think it would be prudent to delay the 2017-18 for 30 days.  It’s important given Mr. Jester’s perception that we’ve only had the calendar since yesterday.  It’s a year and a half from now until it is implemented, so it would be prudent to have 30 days of community input.

Dr. Michael Erwin

When can always amend later right?  So, there’s no need to let it sit.  I’m with Dr. Morley, let’s go ahead and move this forward and we can change it later if we need to.

Jim McMahan

My philosophy is if we are going to do it right, do it right the first time.  Great conversation

Marshall Orson

I’m not recommending we delay.  I just want to fix this for the block calendar.  I’m not trying to delay.

Dr. Michael Erwin

How does the 88 days and 92 days match up with the surrounding districts?

Stacey Stepney

APS – 89,91; Clayton – 87,93; Cobb – 89,91; Decatur 88,92


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