Traditional or Balanced School Calendar? DeKalb School Officials Want to Hear from You

Planning for DeKalb's 2013-14 "balanced" school calendar is underway.

The DeKalb County Schools District Calendar Committee has released two calendar options for public review.

One option is a more traditional school calendar, a start date of Aug. 12 and an end date of May 23. DCSD has historically adopted the traditional calendar model.

DCSD is also considering a a balanced calendar, with the school year beginning on Aug. 5 and ending on May 29 and an additional week of vacation in each semester. Other districts, including Rockdale County Public Schools and the City Schools of Decatur, now use a balanced calendar.

Community members are asked to participate in a survey to select their choice of the two calendar options. The survey results will be used to gauge the level of support for each option.

To participate in the survey, click here . The survey also is available in Spanish here.

Both calendars have 180 school days for the students and an additional 10 days for the teachers, comprised of nine work days and four two-hour teacher conference nights.

Among other considerations is a weekly one-hour early release in order to allow for professional development for all teachers and administrators.

"We know that in order to provide the best possible education for our students, our teachers must also be life-long learners," said Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson in a statement. "These professional learning opportunities will help our staff help our children."

A group of DeKalb County's teachers, principals, and parents met Sept. 4 to develop multiple calendar options for the 2013-14 school year. 

The options are available for public comment until Sept. 26. Atkinson will then make her recommendation to the DeKalb County School Board on Oct. 1. 

The Board will vote on a final calendar Oct. 8. 

Similar calendars have been used by other districts that reduce the amount of time students are away from the classroom and thus prevent “summer brain drain.”

Traditional or balanced calendar? Which one do you think is better? Tell us in the comments below.


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