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School calendar recommended
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 The Newton County Board of Education will vote on the new school calendar on April 27 and if they accept the recommendation by Superintendent Dr. Steve Whatley, the 2010-2011 school year will no longer have a week-long fall and winter break.

 According to the recommendation by Whatley, the calendar is still subject to change because the school system has no way of knowing what the upcoming school year will bring.

 The board looked at the possibility of four different calendars, including a four-day school week and a balanced calendar like the one students are on currently. The balanced calendar was problematic because there was a conflict between the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and fall break.

 In the end, Whatley opted to eliminate the week-long fall and winter breaks as well as early release days for professional development or parent conferences. The calendar will allow for a Thanksgiving break of one week and two weeks at the end of December. It will include 180 days for students and 190 days for teachers.

 The students’ first holiday would be Labor Day in September, followed by a two-day break in October, a week in November and two weeks in December. Students would be off for a teacher workday and MLK day in January and three days in February for winter break. There would be one teacher workday in March, then a week-long spring break in April.

 If approved, the school year will begin Aug. 9 for students (Aug. 2 for teachers) and go through May 26.