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How Do You Feel about the Proposed DeKalb County School Calendar Changes?

Board seeking public input on three options.

The DeKalb County Schools board of education is asking for parental feedback as it mulls a decision to modify the school calendar.

Three proposed options for the 2012-2013 school calendar are on the table, and the board is asking parents to give feedback on each. The board wants to start school earlier in August and dismiss students an hour early on Wednesdays.

Start time in August ranges from Aug. 1 to Aug. 13 in the three options, which could impact summer vacation plans already in place. In 2010, school started Aug. 9.

Each of the options would dismiss students from school one-hour early on Wednesdays.

The board is expected to finalize the calendar for the 2012-2013 school year at the May 7 board meeting.

A look at the options

Option A:

  • 1st semester runs Aug.1-Dec. 18 with a three-day weekend for Labor Day, a full week off in October and in November for Thanksgiving
  • 2nd semester runs Jan. 3-May 29 with a three-day weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a full week off in February (winter break) and April (spring break), and a three-day weekend for Memorial Day in May.

Option B:

  • 1st semester runs Aug. 6-Dec. 20 with a three-day weekend for Labor Day, a four-day weekend in October (Columbus Day) and the full week of Thanksgiving off.
  • 2nd semester runs Jan. 8-May 24 with a three-day weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a four-day weekend in Feb., a three-day weekend in March and a week off in April (spring break).

Option C:

  • 1st semester runs Aug. 13-Dec. 21 with three-day weekends at Labor Day & Columbus Day and the full week of Thanksgiving off.
  • 2nd semester runs Jan. 8-May 29 with a three-day weekend in Jan., Feb., and March; a week off in April, and a three-day weekend for Memorial Day in May.

 

What do you think of the proposed options to the DeKalb County School Calendar? Tell us in comments, then start or join the conversation on Brookhaven Patch's Facebook page.

Babs Long April 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Of the three options presented, I'd choose No.3. But we really need an option 4: Labor Day to Christmas break, with a week for Thanksgiving This would be much better and safer for our kids. Every year there is the death of at least one student forced to play football in the extreme heat of July and August, because coaches have to start their programs before the opening day of school. We MUST put a stop to this senseless loss. Who is driving this encroachment of summer vacations with earlier starting dates, and why? Kids need a break from the stress of school, and time to go to camps to learn other 'stuff.' Parents who work are further stressed with these proposed schedules finding places for their children during all these random, short vacations. As for early Wed. dismissal: This is crazy! Why make all parents reorganize their lives like that? Absolutely not!!! It's beginning to look like only administrators want all these breaks and to head toward bankers' hours on Wed. If so, should our schools' schedules be designed to put the wants and needs of staff ahead of the lives and needs of students and their families? I don't think so.
Joni April 12, 2012 at 03:23 PM
A three day weekend for Labor Day and MLK & Memorial Day is a given and should not be included as an option. Leaving early on Wednesday is a disruption to everyone's schedule regardless of the age of the kids and should be tossed out completely. Option 3 seems to work the best. My kids are long gone from school but every year, the kids' summer breaks are getting shorter and shorter. On the other hand, I was a working mom and it would have been nice to have random breaks to spend time with the kids in the fall or early spring. For half of their school years, they got a full week at Thanksgiving and it was wonderful.
Jeff April 12, 2012 at 06:48 PM
The 3 day Memorial Day weekend for option 3 is not a good idea. Have a three day weekend and then send the kids back to school for 2 days? I think option2 makes more sense. I believe this is administrative driven. The problem with all of these long weekends is the day before, the schools do nothing.
Jerri Jonsson April 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Keep the calendar relatively close to what it is today (i.e. Option C). We have some Principals and their assistants (APs) that lack the managerial skills and political know how to lead. Options A & B come with the risk of compounding our problems of inadequate academic performance given the many "breaks" therein. I suggest Dr. Atkinson and the Board of Education stick with the calendar already in place for 2012-2013. Let's see how things work out academically in terms of improvements w/o changes to the calendar. If we see some improvements, then let's revisit Options A & B. The troubled schools within our district shows unequivocally the lack of professionalism and so-called leadership that must EXPUNGED. Let's concentrate on making changes in personnel rather than the academic calender.
Cynthia April 16, 2012 at 07:27 PM
I think option A is better. The students will have frequent breaks and they will be able to focus on material and what is expected of them. Studies show that when there are frequent breaks/naps in workplaces, that employees tend to work more efficiently. This holds the same for students. Option A.
SABRINA April 17, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I think options C would be the best. Early release on Wed. just needs to be thrown out. There are already kid struggling that can not get all that is being taught on a full day so why take time away from them that is very well needed. I feel as if Dekalb County Public School System is failing, and the only ones suffering from it are the children. So SAD

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