School Calendar Committee Convenes: Seeking Input

UPDATE: This was sent out via k-12 Alerts from the school system (Tues, 9-18)
Dear Friends of DeKalb County Schools,

After hours of collaboration and discussion by a team of parents, teachers, principals and administrators, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Calendar Committee has released two calendar options for public review.

The first, a traditional calendar, reflects a start date of Aug. 12 and an end date of May 23. DCSD has historically adopted the traditional calendar model.

The second, a balanced calendar, begins the school year on Aug. 5 and ends on May 29, but has an additional week of vacation in each semester. Balanced calendars are growing in popularity and are utilized by other districts including Rockdale County Public Schools and the City Schools of Decatur.

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. “These professional learning opportunities will help our staff help our children.”

The calendars will be available for public comment until Sept. 26. Community members may also participate in a brief survey to gauge the level of support for each calendar as well as the early release day. The proposed calendars are [available at the DCSS website, under the News tab, and in the blogs FILES tab above]. To participate in the survey, click here . The survey also is available in Spanish here .

+++ This came to us earlier via the Aha! Community News in Dunwoody:

I have had the opportunity to work with DeKalb County School personnel* over recent weeks to draft calendar options for the 2013 – 2014 school year. The calendar committee has been a mixture of teachers, local school administrators, county office administrators and parents representing all districts in the county.

We have developed two calendar options – traditional (similar to the calendar we have followed in recent years) and balanced (earlier start, later finish and longer breaks during the year). Stakeholder input and comments are needed for review and consideration prior to the calendar committee presenting recommendations to the Superintendent who will then present options and a recommendation to the Board of Education for review and approval.

There are a number of factors that affect calendaring including number of instructional days, state mandated test dates, and synchronized Spring Break dates with surrounding systems.

Another development that you will want to be aware of that the Superintendent is giving strong consideration to for the 2013-2014 academic year is a 1 hour early release on a weekly basis. This would be implemented at all levels (elementary, middle, high) across the board. The Superintendent feels that this time is critical in order to best provide professional development opportunities that better equip teachers in order to deliver quality education in the classroom. If you feel strongly about the shape/form that professional development could take (1 hour early release each week, half day monthly instead of 1 hour weekly, late start instead of early release), your voice needs to be heard.

It is critical that we receive input from stakeholders regarding these options. I would like to ask that you provide input and feedback in two distinct ways. First, and most important, you have an opportunity on the DCSS website (http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us) to review the options and submit feedback there. This opportunity for your direct input is scheduled to begin Monday, September 17. The window for review of the calendar and submit any comments will be open through Wednesday, September 26 @ 5:00 PM. This is your most critical avenue for feedback.

Secondly, I would like to hear directly from you as well. Please send an email to Calendar@AtlantaRealEstateMatters.com with your thoughts and ideas on these options, or other matters that you think should be taken into consideration as a calendar is presented to the Superintendent and then to the Board for approval.

CLICK HERE to view the DeKalb School System website.
*Trenton Arnold and Stacey Stepney are chairing the committee from the school board administration.

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56 Responses to School Calendar Committee Convenes: Seeking Input

  1. Joanne says:

    I can’t find the calendar. Can someone post the direct link please?

  2. DunMoody says:

    What does it matter what any parent, teacher, or community member feels about the calendar options? (Heavy sarcasm.) We’ve been down this path to the point of exhaustion.

  3. Teachingmom says:

    I think the public has already made their opinion known when this came up very recently, what is it 6 months or less? Why are we wasting time and energy on something that has already been considered and rejected??? No matter how she slices it parents and teachers for the most part are saying no to the balanced calendar. The end.

  4. PublicSchoolDad says:

    @ We’ve been down this path to the point of exhaustion.

    No kidding. After all of the negative feedback she received during her last attempt to pursue this and with all of the other critical issues that need to be addressed right now, If Dr. A is still pursuing this “balanced calender” I suspect that it is going to happen without respect to how we feel about it (parents or teachers).

  5. whoshelpingthekids says:

    Waiting on the K12 alert to tell us the survey is open….day is almost over. Will give the same negative feedback again since they must not have been listening the first time. From the original post above from the calendar committee member, it sounds like Dr. A isn’t asking for feedback on the early release days… that’s curious if true.

  6. concernforthekids says:

    The calendar survey is not yet on the school system website. It has been said that it will be open today on the DCSD website.
    http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us
    Please take this issue very seriously because the only way to be heard is to voice your opinion!
    Open Records Requests can verify the comments from the public regarding the selection of next year’s school calendar.
    In my opinion, I think Dr. A wants as many teachers professionally certified to the highest level possible. This is the reason for the potential change to the calendar. Try and offer alternative solutions to accomplish the extended learning time for teachers while offering your suggestions to the calendar.
    Personally, I would like to see the “Old School” calendar which we ALL had during our school years. Start after Labor Day and end the first week of June. If you need early release, try extending the learning day by an hour every day and let teachers use one of those days for professional learning.
    Just my opinion.
    CFTK

  7. RealWorldEducation says:

    They could have done professional learning this year, but we’ve lost alot of those days to furloughs. I’ll be voting a huge no to balanced calendar, and hopefully won’t have to vote with my feet next year.

  8. The Deal says:

    NO to balanced calendar, primarily because Dr. Atkinson has shown zero solid proof that this calendar change has anything to do with improving student achievement. It’s like her bragging to SACS that they changed teachers’ paychecks to every 2 weeks. Sure, it’s a change, it’s an action, but did it help the students any? No.

  9. Tanya Myers says:

    But hasn’t it been shown that the learning losses experienced over the summer by the most disadvantaged students (those that don’t experience summer camps, or vacations to fabulous places, or…) are reduced by shortening the summer break? To me, that’s a great reason to vote FOR the balanced calendar. And I would personally love to see the DeKalb County calendar aligned with Decatur City Schools so that we could enjoy having similar breaks with friends.

  10. 1stgradeteacher says:

    Just a thought, don’t take all the teacher work days during the school year for furlough days.

  11. Tucker Guy says:

    @Tanya Myers,
    You obviously heard Dr. Atkinson speak about a balanced calendar.
    What she, doesn’t say because studies don’t show it, is that a balanced calendar increases test scores or decreases the achievement gap other than the first week back after a break.
    Most of the districts that I have heard of that had a balanced calendar have gone back to a traditional one because the parents hate it and test scores did not go up. My sister-in-law taught at one of those districts and the superintendent was removed over the calendar.

  12. The Deal says:

    For research, please read this: http://rer.sagepub.com/content/73/1/1.abstract

    What everyone also needs to consider is that balanced calendars are rarely adopted in massive districts like DeKalb. Changing a 100,000 student system to a balanced calendar fundamentally changes the entire county and has a huge ripple effect throughout ancillary businesses and services. It isn’t something that is easily done or undone. If Dr. Atkinson believes in this so much, she should do a trial in a particular feeder system, giving families the chance to opt in or out. You don’t just flip things around for the families of 100,000 students to try it out.

    In addition, why, why, why do we not simply look at what works for successful systems and do what they are doing? What huge, successful school systems are on a balanced calendar?

    Can Dr. Atkinson just focus on the known problems and not create new ones?

  13. I can agree with TheDeal that there are likely larger issues to address in the district at this moment (mostly having to do with the initial claim of putting money back into the classroom and putting the children first). Thus far, I’ve seen neither indecisions that have been made. The statement of “looking at successful systems” is not necessarily the answer either. In fact, I’d say we sometimes do that too often, trying to change constantly and not perfecting what we start (which is exactly what these “successful systems” do). I see this as a considerable local and national problem. For example, many schools put a lot of money into the Singapore Math program as it is proven to be so successful in Singapore. Well, I’ve been to an informational meeting for this program and the first thing they say is that they’ve used and developed the SAME math program since the beginning of their educational system (100+ years!) It seems that is what we as a district and country educational system should have strived to do many years ago, but we are all about change in America. Because of that, we lack identity.

    Back to the calendar issue… I see (for my school) tremendous benefit in a balanced calendar and a shortened day for teacher planning. I actually attended a high school that had half days every Monday and think the teachers truly benefitted from the planning time given to prep for the week. As a teacher at a high ESOL school (70%+), I know without a doubt that extended days and a full year calendar would help them to make greater gains. Now, do I think this is the answer for every school? Certainly not. I would like to see more school variance based upon population need and less one-size-fits-all. my students (low-SES, non-English speakers) would benefit, but as a former Caucasian, middle-class, suburbanite student, I likely would’ve succeeded either way thanks to the support of my family and available resources (things my students often lack being refugees from war torn countries). Likewise, class sizes should not be the same in every school. Some students/schools could benefit from smaller classes/more teachers, while others will succeed regardless. It would be best for every school to be “prescribed” a calendar, class size, etc. Based upon need.

    So, while I see a benefit in a balanced calendar, others may have different circumstances and not want to change from the “old way”. I do not necessarily think that one’s own nostalgic feelings toward school should play a role in current opinions of what’s best for the kids. At the very least, I am glad the discussion is happening early in the year and will allow those who argued in April last school year that they had no “planning should time” should have no problem this year. It should prove to be an interesting debate. A difficult choice for such a large school system, indeed, but worth the conversation.

  14. whoshelpingthekids says:

    If there are learning losses over 2.5 months of summer and that’s Dr. A’s reason for a balanced calendar, then her logic requires her to ditch block schedule.

  15. Those who say there is no “proof” for success due to a balanced calendar should offer proof that the traditional calendar yields success. Sadly, at my school, I do not see it. If our students could be in school 260 days a year and 3 extra hours every day, we’d likely see greater gains….of course Weser growth, but our ESOL need greater growth than students on level. Again, I’d like to see individual schools choose a calendar that works for their population. Different plans for different circumstances would be better than the one-size approach to education. I am all for equal opportunity education to a minimum expectation, but some students (who don’t have) need more, without others saying “if they have it then we should”.

  16. Wondering in DeKalb says:

    User the calendars now, but how can we give feedback?

  17. Why am I not surprised? says:

    I see the calendars, but in addition to no place for feedback, they don’t yet mention the early release issue.

  18. Teachingmom says:

    Teachers will not get more instructional planning with a balanced calendar. They will be attending “meetings” and trainings…. Furlough days will also play a part, we know that DeKalb will have budget issues going forward as they have to balance the current budget and pay back the state. This will add to the chaos and even if it is supported by research (the jury is out). We do not need to add anything to the mix.

  19. murphey says:

    I love my teachers but what is going to stop them from giving homework during the long breaks in a balanced calendar? If it’s a break then there should be no projects or homework – period.

    With a balanced calendar students and families are forced to trade breaks in the summer, which can be carefree and refreshing, for weeks during the year where they may be forced to do projects and homework. What’s carefree and refreshing about that? (Yes, I know there is summer reading and math packets and the like but these have a 10 week window for completion. Homework over a week long “break” is too much.)

    Please – a “no homework” policy must be part of any balanced calendar. Better yet, keep the calendar like it is.

  20. DunMoody says:

    So many repercussions. Will our high school AP teachers continue to give the same heavy-weight summer assignments under a balanced calendar? (Many systems do NOT give AP summer work.) Will our students have homework over the weeklong breaks? Will teachers lose the planned early release days to furloughs? Will DCSS provide extended childcare in clusters where low income families do not have the means to pay for those early release days? Will the balanced calendar factor in the dysfunctional block schedule, with its unhappy mix of year-long courses and semester-long courses?

    She is well known for loving the balanced calendar concept, so I imagine that we’ll see a balanced calendar next year, without the requisite pre-planning essential to managing such a critical change as well as consultation with the business community that will be directly impacted by DCSS’ calendar experiment.

  21. Tanya Myers says:

    @Tucker Guy: I haven’t heard Dr. Atkinson speak on the balanced calendar nor have I had time to track down her public comments on the calendar. My comments above are purely based on my own thoughts.

    If I do have a chance to track down research on differences between calendars, I’ll be looking to see whether results are improved for the subsets of students that are at risk (rather than looking at whether there are statistically significant differences for general cohorts). I expect that there are some students for whom it can make a huge difference and likewise, others where there is little to no difference.

    I’m happy to see the discussion taking place early this year – for those of us looking at summer camps, having a decision prior to Jan/Feb is key.

  22. DunMoody says:

    Apparently the time for opining is over. The community has two calendar options: one traditional and one balanced. That’s it. The AJC’s Get Schooled has posted a release by DCSS with links to the two options.

    As well as the fact that SACS is revisiting the school system next month.

  23. Leo says:

    The vast majority of the negative feedback last year was focused on how late the proposal was going out, meaning that parents and businesses did not have the opportunity to plan for it, so she’s doing what was asked: wait to consider earlier the following year. I am actually a proponent of the balanced calendar. My kids are in elementary school and I see them become more and more distracted as the weeks go by without a break. A longer break seems to refocus them and they are better behaved and better learners in the classroom. I would prefer, however, if we moved to a balanced calendar that the system tried to better synchronize the breaks with other systems on the same schedule (Decatur, Rockdale, Cherokee, and Marietta??). I’m not sure why we’d go through the trouble of synchronizing spring break to then be way off on these other dates.

    As for those of you complaining about bigger problems within the system, you’re right in some aspects that we have MUCH larger issues to contend but I think it’s foolish to say that we should overlook all of the little modifications that might make a difference and simply focus on those. Sometimes improving the little things helps set the stage for tackling the bigger problems.

  24. The Deal says:

    Leo, what specific problem does this “balanced calendar” improve? It’s one week on either end of the school year. My biggest problem is that the kids whose parents can afford to let them relax during those mid weeks will benefit, and those weren’t the children who were suffering anyway.

    The kids whose parents (or parent) must work all day will be shoved into some all-day, quickly thrown together “camp” and will end up just as exhausted or more than a regular week of school. It will be a completely different social situation, most likely stressful to kids who don’t adapt to change well, and they will show up back to school on Monday mentally drained. I just don’t see the benefit, except to upper middle class kids who get to go to the beach or Disney on non-peak rates.

  25. Calendar A is ridiculous and B is as well. Neither option is good. But B works. Looks like A would work for teachers. Provided they get their staff Dev. days and not have it be furloughed. Interesting, we get a week taken away and only 3 days returned. Plus 2 staff dev. days, 1 in each semester.

    Also, I say the school ranked the 10 worst in this county should be on a full year schedule. These kids need to be in school more. Just speaking the truth. They need to exposed everyday to education. Dekalb can do this just identify those teachers willing, desiring of a full year schedule, I am sure there are some and do it.

    But back to current reality for a minute, Taking a week off of summer at each end does nothing, NOTHING to make a dent in summer slide. This is a stupid premise to fix this issue. Better to have DCSD send out by mail, email, website a grade level review packet to be done prior to school starting to bring in for a classwork grade (40% weight). Even if it is done a week before school starts, they are reviewing at home. This is a get tough move. Don’t do and you get your first F in classwork and that is hard to dig out of. Stop the 3-4 weeks of remediation, Review and get moving. Do we honestly believe the world’s powerhouse educational systems re-mediate and review the way this county does now.

    Yes some are disadvantaged and lack parental help but if we continue to have the lowest of expectations for these children by assuming they aren’t capable, are we really helping them? Using these children as the reason we must move a calendar is disappointing. Really Dr. A. don’t you have anything else to work on?

  26. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    Until a longer calendar comes along that ADDS days to the school year, then I don’t see how a change in the calendar really impacts the students in the worst achieving schools. Those students benefit from MORE contact time with teachers. Neither calendar addresses that need.

    And if you add in early release days without mitigating in some way the lost instructional time…well then, what you’re really creating is a SHORTER school calendar which will do nothing other than harm the students in the worst achieving schools. I wish there was more information available about how exactly these early release times would be instituted.

  27. Bernard J. Myers says:

    Staff Development usually means that Principals can hire their retired/retreaded friends to come in a give a motivational speech.
    Loof at the folks who are employed by the DeKalb In-House Staff Dev Department. Would you want them teaching your kids?

  28. Leo says:

    @The Deal: I can only comment on the changes that I see in my own children and think that their classroom learning would benefit from more frequent breaks from school. I don’t think the current balanced calendar will stop “summer slide.” I think to truly do that you’d need to make a much bigger dent in summer. But, my kids perform well in school without extra breaks, I just see the changes in their attention and behavior when they go long periods without a break. I don’t think that they are all that different from other people’s kids in this regard either. So, if more dispersed breaks will help the classroom environment, I think that’s a good thing and lends itself to a greater learning environment. That being said, I don’t think the particular balanced calendar that the district is proposing does that. In fact, all it appears to do is add two extra days off in October. In contrast, a balanced calendar like that used in Decatur essentially has a week off every 6-8 weeks, and it would address the issue I’m referring to. I’ll also add that I say this as a parent from a 2-person working household. More breaks are, frankly, less convenient for me, but I’ll find a way to make it work.

  29. whoshelpingthekids says:

    Starting school earlier in August and going later just increases the utility bills for air conditioning – likely makes little difference in achievement whether we start or end 1 – 2 weeks different. We could move spring break to March like the private schools and provide a nice mid semester break if the teachers and kids need a break – as it is, there is a long stretch until April, then they have to get in the mindset of testing as soon as they get back from break and school is out 5 weeks later.

  30. Why am I not surprised? says:

    Just got the K12 Alerts request for feedback. They do not give you an option to say “No” to the early dismissal. Is there any way to get them feedback that we do not want early dismissal?

  31. Nikole says:

    The balanced calendar is much more desirable to teachers that work in difficult situations. I’d work year-round if it meant I had time to rest. Planning engaging lessons, teaching those engaging lessons, collecting date, analyzing that data and then planning accordingly; all while chasing a child that has run out of the building or stopping a child form beating another is EXHAUSTING! There is no data or research to support it, but I am a much more pleasant, organized and energized teacher after breaks. And our meetings now last well after I am scheduled to be off, so I welcome early release to get them done so that I can work in my classroom on my own planning and paperwork before I have to get to my second job.

  32. @concernedmom30329:: That horrible injury that happened to the Tucker SRO is tragic. It so happens, the SRO injured at Tucker in DeKalb was Dr. Walker’s son. We all feel very badly about this – and would regardless of who sustained the injury. The violence in schools is becoming intolerable most everywhere. In fact, violence in schools has become such a problem that the Macon superintendent called a special meeting with his board to discuss a plan of action.

    Our thoughts go out to Officer Brown. He sustained a severe injury trying to break up a fight among students.

  33. @worldunitenow: You make the point well that one calendar does not fit all. The benefits to a ‘balanced’ calendar would seem to support lower income, struggling students, while higher income students would not benefit, and in fact, would lose out on many traditional summer experiences like camps, vacations, and jobs for youth. I would go so far as to say that a true summer camp experience is more beneficial to emotional and cognitive growth than is more schooling. Could it possibly be smarter, cheaper and more fun to simply send everyone to a quality summer camp for 6 weeks every summer?

    The other issue is that this kind of calendar packs a heavy punch to businesses like Six Flags, Lake Lanier Islands, Stone Mountain, etc. that thrive in the summer months and play host to family fun.

    IMHO, the ‘balanced’ calendar essentially changes the ‘traditional’ family values. Thus the play on words I guess…

  34. Neither calendar is a Balanced calendar. A true real balanced calendar is a full year round school with breaks every six/eight weeks. This type is utilized in other countries This is the calendar some of our school should be using but not all. There is actually a non profit org called National Association for Year Round Education that advocated for this type of schedule. They have lots of data to support it. I think it stinks. Many schools in CA, AZ, NC, AR have gone to it. So what.

    The type of calendar being touted here is not balanced or modified balanced, it;s nothing but a smoke screen. It’s a “Look, we’re doing something in the name of achievement and helping the cheeldren!”. This is ridiculous and we now know this woman can’t be taken seriously. She is buying a canned ham of a reading program and calling it “HoneyBaked” and scrambling calendar eggs to look like she is doing something.

    For someone who wants the children in school more, isn’t it just a bit hypocritical to send them home an hour early each week? Why can’t we just pay staff to stay an hour extra? We don’t have enough money? Maybe if we didn’t use all the title one funds to buy a canned ham…we could pay these teachers to stay a bit longer to prepare for these kids that need it more.

  35. another comment says:

    Welcome to Cobb County and the Balanced Calendar and Survey Monkey wars. By the way, anyone can vote on the Survey Monkey, not just those in Dekalb County. Cobb County went from a Board of Broken Campain promises who had members that campained on they were against the Balanced Calendar. To then voting for a Balanced Calendar for 3 years. What has followed has been outrage, the Calendar wars, the rigged survey monkey. Cobb had One year on the Balanced Calendar, then parents voted out/in board members based on going back to the Traditional Calendar.

    Most of us parents hated the Balanced Calendar in Cobb, only a small slice with stay at home moms liked it. The teachers who lived in Counties that were on it, wanted it, so they could be on the same breaks as their kids. Well a solution for that, is you should live in the same county as you teach. If you want to live out in the boonies, then teach out there. All of the kids expected that there parents were either going to take them to the Beach in Sept/Oct or to Disney in Feb. The biggest surprise is that those are high season at Disney, not off season. So unless you are going on a cruise, which we can not afford, there are no deals. If you work it is a nightmear. Crime rates go up with the unsupervised gangs of Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers out and about. One can also bet that the teenage pregnancy rate also is up 9 months later.

    My big question is, what business, schedules breaks around the employees? None that I know of. It is around the business. My other question is, if this is to help the underperformers, then fund summer school for them. I have spent the time with my kids, I make them read when we go to the beach in the summer or just hang by our pool in the summer. But do not take away my children’s summer. All of the college level camps for higher acheivers are set up to go into Mid August. So an early start precludes our students from attending. It precludes them from getting summer internships and jobs.

    Cobb has wasted so much time going back and forth on the Calendar. After 1 year they went back to the traditional. Then some folks screamed. So they did this stupid survey monkey, it showed 3x as many teachers voted as Cobb even has in favor of the Balanced Calendar. One member has pressed and pressed about it, despite people electing the majority of the board who are Traditional Calendar. Now Supt. has set up a Calander Committee which is stacked with Balanced Calandar people. It just goes on and on. What a waste of time and money. I am so glad my daughter graduates from high school this year.

    My advise is if you want the traditional Calendar vote numerous times on the Survey monkey for it. Because otherwise it will be rigged for the Balanced.

  36. Why am I not surprised? says:

    Here is a link to a literature review about the balanced calendar: http://education.iupui.edu/CUME/pdf/yearroundschoolingarticle2011.pdf

    After reviewing many studies, it found that research studies in favor of the balanced calendar are poorly designed and do not consider interfering variables (such as some schools offer supplemental activities during the breaks – they do better than programs which do not). Even when effects are found, they are statistically insignificant in terms of student achievement. Although attitudes about the calendar improve with time, there are more reported difficulties, such as childcare, negative impacts on businesses that rely on teen employment in the summer, and difficulty coordinating family plans with kids in different schools. There are no cost savings. In other words, there are cons, and no pros. Yes, we have problems, but why create more problems for others when it doesn’t actually improve achievement, especially when there are much bigger problems on the road?

    In other links I found, there is a 0.06 effect size (not a correlation) on student achievement in the short term. For those of you who don’t do statistics, an effect size of 0.0 is exactly what it sounds like – zero. An effect size of .2 is considered minimal and 0.3 – 0.4 is considered moderate. Effect sizes in the .6 and up range are incredibly hard to find and research gold. Having published research before, I’m amazed folks can get an effect size of 0.06 even published in a reputable journal. It means nothing of interest.

    I’m more upset, though, by the loss of SEVEN instructional days by the early release plan. Granted, they don’t phrase it like that. It’s still a 180 day school year, right? But when you add up all the hours each week, it’s 36 hours lost over a year. That’s about 7 instructional days altogether. Our teachers deserve professional development time. Perhaps we should stop paying double for attorney fees and to put 30 minutes a week of band in elementary schools for one year and start paying them to be able to do their job without hurting our kids in the process.

  37. teacher/taxpayer says:

    @Nikole: I agree wholeheartedly with you. It is day 25 and I am already exhausted. Even with the sweetest class ever, today I was ready to scream! It wasn’t the children; it was all the last minute, do the best you can, we just found out about it too, we are all in the same (sinking) boat requirements. I feel like a goose being force-fed so my liver can get big enough to make a ton of liver pate! An awful lot of this disorganization is being driven by the Race for the Top requirements (Teacher Keys, SLO testing etc.)
    Superintendent and Board: You are abusing your teachers and your students just to get your hands on a pile of money that isn’t even being used to make things better. Either let us teach or let us do paperwork and jump on every last minute software training or test preparation or whatever. Personally I prefer to teach.
    Re the balanced calendar: At this point, if I can get a week off more often, I will take it so I can recuperate from the nonsense!
    And no matter how many extra prep hours we get, it can’t be enough to compensate for poor leadership The truth is we have no clue what we are doing because the people who are paid the big bucks are clueless.

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