Plan B – Make-Up Schedule

Stan Jester
DeKalb County
Board Of Education

DeKalb Schools Policy AEA gives the superintendent authority to unilaterally reschedule days missed due to inclement weather or other emergencies. Last Friday Superintendent Green availed himself of policy AEA and announced a plan to reclaim the 4 lost days due to Irma. The plan included extending the school day by 20 minutes until Winter Break.
The superintendent left the implementation of the 20 minute extension up to school house leadership. Dunwoody High School is on the block schedule and announced they would extend their first and last period by 10 minutes each. I’m curious to see what the other schools come up with.
Some of the Mega-Schools are using this time to help alleviate some of the logistical issues we’ve created by cramming a bunch of students into a school not designed to handle that kind of capacity. Lakeside HS is going to add time to their lunch period. Chamblee Charter HS is going to add some time to the transitional period between classes.
I’m not a fan of the extended day idea. I have 3 kids in 3 schools. We have been tweaking our schedule for the last 2 months and this extension blows that up. I provided my thoughts to the superintendent in an unsolicited email to him over the weekend recommending to reclaim the November 7 Election Day / Teacher Work Day and the February inclement weather day. Let the other two days go.
Note: Waivers and state law allow the school district to skip as many days as it sees fit.
Looks like the school district has initiated Plan B …

DeKalb County School District to adjust make-up days schedule following additional collaboration and outreach

DeKalb Schools News

From: DeKalb Schools Communications Department
The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will adjust its make-up schedule for four days of lost instructional time due to Hurricane Irma, following both continuing collaboration between the Board of Education and Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green, and focused outreach to stakeholder groups.
DCSD will take the following steps to recover two of the lost instructional days:
• The school day will be extended by 20 minutes from Monday, Oct. 2 to Tuesday, Oct. 31
• Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 7) will become an instructional day.
The district is now considering the most effective method to recover one or both of the remaining instructional days. To accomplish this, DCSD will seek input directly from its principals, parent groups and community stakeholder groups through Friday, Oct. 13.
That input will be strongly considered by Dr. Green in his final decision, to be announced on Monday, Oct. 16. Per Board policy, Dr. Green is empowered to make “scheduling changes to the school day because of inclement weather or other emergency conditions.”
“Throughout this process, I have been continually working with our Board to distill our various options into the best solution for our students and families. We considered various input and thoughts from across the board. The identification of two make-up opportunities thus far is a good starting point,” said Green. “The final decision will be filtered through a collaborative process driven by one shared desire for both the Board and myself: to protect and recover instructional time, especially for those students most at risk.”

18 responses to “Plan B – Make-Up Schedule

  1. I work at Dekalb County Schools. I have worked in other school systems in the state. Sonce I have been here, I’ve found it surprising that the general public learns about what’s going on in the sustem before or at the same time as employees. This has not been the practice of my previous systems. I have a problem with this

  2. Weatherly Polinski

    Stan, My understanding is that we are looking to regain instructional days for the fall semester specifically, is this incorrect? Overall, I think reclaiming two to three instructional days this semester should suffice rather than all four. It’s my opinion that we could stop where we are with the election day back on the calendar and 20 minutes added to the month of October.
    If we are bent on getting all four days made up this semester I would prefer Thanksgiving days reclaimed. The timing of those instructional days has far more impact (think- high schoolers prepping for exams) than end of semester days right before winter break. I think taking teacher work days is a bad idea, they already get so little planning time. If this is truly an option, I would suggest surveying teachers and staff. They deserve to have their opinions sought. If they choose giving up their work day to preserve Thanksgiving break then I support that decision.

  3. Weatherly, Yeah, they want to make the days up this Fall. A lot of students will be in different classes next semester. I believe a survey went out to the teachers today.

  4. I have seen a valid recommendation of extending the first semester by one day to Dec. 21. I’d bet that there are fewer absences on 21st than on Eclipse Totality day, Aug. 21.
    Also having students come back one day earlier, Jan. 3, would gain a full day of instruction — not tossing a few minutes here and there. That brings the count to 3 days: Nov. 7, Dec. 21 and Jan. 3. Call it a day. Thank you.

  5. Chamblee Charter High School – CCHS is not on a block schedule, they have 7 periods. For October, they will be adding 2 minutes to each period and 1 minute to every transition time between periods.

  6. DSW2Contributor

    Stan, I am sure your post above accurately summarizes what you were told. Thank you for sharing it with the public.
    The part about DCSD seeking input thru Friday, Oct. 13 is complete fiction. “Out of Steam Green’s” team have already narrowed their decision making down to two options. BOTH of their options include a full day of school on November 20, the Monday of Thanksgiving break.
    Today is September 28. While they have already decided there will be school on Monday, November 20, they are not going to tell parents, employees and the public that until October 16. The only reason they are delaying this announcement is so that “Out of Steam Green” can pretend DCSD took “input” on this decision.

  7. Stan,
    Can you find out how the superintendent and his team use data in making decisions. “Instruction” doesn’t just happen. Now that we teachers don’t have a work day on November 7th, what happens to the “work” that would’ve been completed? With the lengthy new lesson plan templates and a new curriculum, it’s not clear anyone thinks about the time needed to do anything for the classroom.
    We teachers working at high schools absolutely need that day before the 2nd semester to be ready for instruction.
    Unless there is a financial need to make these days up, why not consider Saturday study and exam preparation sessions in the spring? Private schools do this. Public schools in other areas of the country do this.

  8. With a million dollar budget and an overpaid staff, the Communications Department does a poor job in communicating with the schools. It is ridiculous to be bombarded with phone calls from parents about an update that was not communicated to the schools first.

  9. Just wondering

    I didn’t get any survey. And they can make that Monday of Thanksgiving break a regular school day, but no one will come. It’s the same as Fall Break. Plans have been made. I would venture that many teachers will put in for subs on that day and that not many students will even show up. So there won’t be any meaningful instruction happening anyway.

  10. That would be my expectations

  11. I’ve noticed that some of our mega schools are using this time to help alleviate the logistical problems they are having. Lakeside High School – LHS is adding time to their lunch period.

  12. For anyone who wants to comments, here is the place to submit, per Vasanne Tinsley (Student Support & Intervention) .”Stakeholders are able to share comments/considerations regarding options for the makeup of instructional time via our YOU TELL US link on the DeKalb website. The address is”
    I do not know WHO monitors this email.
    RE: LHS adding time to lunch — that is great!! I wish Chamblee would do the same b/c the lunchtime got shaved when another lunch period was squeezed in. I’d wondered whether or not this would’ve been considered instructional.

  13. Stan –
    I teach a 9-week class on the 4×4 block. No matter what we do, little will help my students that I have now or will have after the grading period ends in just a few weeks. The 9-weeks ends Wednesday, October 11. It would be huge for that to be pushed back to October 13, and would have little effect on most of the district. Honestly, I don’t know what my schedule will be when I go to work Monday. That is beyond frustrating right now.

  14. Plan J: No additional days be made up after October and November 7th.

  15. Was a final decision announced on Monday, Oct. 16?

  16. This is from DCSD website:
    “DeKalb County School District to continue 20-minute extended-day class schedule through November 30.
    DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will continue to add 20 minutes to its school day through Thursday, Nov. 30, in an effort to recapture much of the instructional time lost due to the storm known as Hurricane Irma.
    Other important aspects of this plan include:
    •There will be no 20-minute extended day on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
    •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.
    •Schools will also be closed Nov. 20-24 for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
    •Winter Break will remain as originally scheduled.
    In sum, these moves will allow DCSD to recover three of the four days lost to Irma. The district will waive the fourth day.”
    I can not believe we are going through November now! My class with majority students with Autism can not handle schedule and routine changes. (They are 5 years old.)

  17. What irrates me the most is that the county posted this at the last minute on a Friday and hidden on the front page of the website, when they said they would have a plan out on MONDAY, October 16. Post and leave for the weekend. Just like they did when they posted the first make up day schedule. Cowards. I hope the school board lets Dr. Green know how bad this looks for his highly overpaid communications department and himself.
    But hey, maybe the third time is the charm.

  18. Really feeling like the district is holding my children hastage for no real benefit. The only parents I know that support this are parents that work and don’t want their children home right after school any way. Pitiful. Is a City of Dunwoody independent school district effort moving forward?