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.