Monday, October 8, 2012

"Balanced School Calendar" approved for DeKalb County starting on August 5th means shorter summer.


AJC - The DeKalb County school system will shift to a “balanced” attendance calendar next fall, despite a survey showing most parents oppose the change.

The school board voted 6-2 Monday for the new calendar. (Board member Sarah Copelin-Wood was absent.) It will clip nearly two weeks from summer break and sprinkle those vacation days in fall and winter.
Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson has said students forget too much during the traditional three-month summer break. She proposed the new calendar after a survey showed most teachers wanted it.

School will start Aug. 5 instead of Aug. 12 and will end May 29 instead of May 23. This will allow a three-day fall break from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9 and a four-day winter break — Feb. 18 to Feb. 21 — tacked onto President’s Day.

But Nancy Jester and Don McChesney voted no because of the imposition on parents, who will have to find child care during periods when it is harder to find than in summer. “I think we’re losing a lot of parent goodwill,” Jester said.

6 comments:

alan said...

Thanks Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson for ignoring the parents and going ahead with your agenda. When will our School Board actually hire a decent Superintendent? They are now 0-3.

Mom99 said...

Dr. Atkinson listened to the teachers who were in favor of this change. I applaud her for trying something new.

Colleen O'Casey said...

Alan, incivility is typically ignored. Ever hear of the adage, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

Ever think of attempting to work with the Superintendent instead of setting your mind that you're going to fight everything she proposes from the get-go?

mama said...

Children deserve the same opportunities we had as children, a summer of camps, swim teams, and silliness. This is a travesty, superintendent Atkinson should be ashamed. What will kids do with a week off in February? They'll be parked in front of the tv because of the temperature outside.

Mike Smith said...

Non teachable days are non teachable days no matter how you juggle them around - if you want to improve knowledge retention, increase test scores, creating more teachable days would be a better solution. At the current rate, our teachers only work 180 days per year, what about their ability to retain/develop skills? Our kids/teachers deserve better leadership and educational/career guidance than what is currently being delivered. The public school system is a culture of mediocre that has developed over many years from this type of leadership.

Ken Thompson said...

"You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

Actual research indicates flies are attracted to the vinegar more so than the honey as rotting fruit often contains vinegar and related compounds. Yummy.

The point is that we've run our schools on the basis of supposition, opinion, old wives tales and other bromides, and most importantly, kowtowing to vocal minorities. The bumper-sticker excuse for the adjustment is "kids 'r fergittin' whut they larned on dem long breaks" and if this were based on facts, especially facts from within DCSD, things would be much different. But they're not and as reported in the AJC the only real supporting data is a poll of teachers preferences and indications that a balanced calendar may have helped reduce teacher absenteeism at a nearby, much smaller school system.

Ms. Jester seems to be spot on in one regard: the only objectively measurable service this system provides is day care and now they insist on buggering that up.