Two school calendar options presented for 2013-2014 (Dec. 14, 2012)
Next year Rockdale County Public Schools will likely have a 180-day school year beginning on Thursday, Aug. 1 and ending Thursday, May 29 after board members supported the recommendation of a committee comprised of parents, district administrators and principals Thursday night.
Two calendar options were presented in December 2012 and an online survey posted in January collected responses from the public.
The option that was recommended will have four week-long intersessions throughout the year: Oct. 7-11, Nov. 25-29, Feb. 17-21 and April 7-11. The holiday break will be Dec. 23-Jan. 6. Students will return to class for their last three days after the Memorial Day holiday.
"At this point this is a full 180-day student calendar," RCPS Superintendent Rich Autry said during the board's work session Thursday. "However, it is subject to change and, quite frankly, has changed over recent years due to budgetary constraints. I want to make sure the board and the public know that is a possibility."
Chief Academic Officer Leslie Demarco said the calendar committee unanimously supported the 180-day student/190-day teacher calendar with the first day of school being Aug. 1. She also said 800 participants in an online survey overwhelmingly supported that calendar option over the second option, which had school beginning July 29 and ending on May 23.
"There will be five days of pre-planning, two days of post-planning and three prefessional learning days," Demarco said. "The schools like starting on a Thursday to get the kinks worked out before the following Monday." She also said the calendar option adopted Thursday has an April 7-11 spring break consistent with that of surrounding school districts.
Demarco said if there were budget cuts and the school system needed to cut calendar days, they would first look at the 10 teacher planning days and professional learning days before cutting into the 180 student days.
She also reported of the 800 participants in the online survey, approximately 50 percent were parents, 43 percent were teachers and a handful of the votes were by students. Last year the survey received only 216 responses.
The school board will vote on the calendar and other matters during its next meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., at 954 North Main Street. Normally the school board meeting is the third Thursday of the month but has been rescheduled due to winter break, which is Feb. 18-22.