As it looks to make changes to the future school calendar, the Fulton County Board of Education is seeking input from parents and school administrators.
District 7 school board member Julia Bernath on Tuesday hosted a community meeting at Sandy Springs Charter Middle School, where she asked residents to weigh in on the calendar. Bernath represents Sandy Springs and parts of Alpharetta and Roswell.
Martha Greenway, consultant to the school system and former deputy superintendent, said Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa was in the process of forming a school calendar for the next two years, 2013-14 and 2014-15. This calendar will be recommended to the school board for vote after it is finalized.
Greenway said the superintendent was considering bringing the district back to a 180-day school year instead of the 177-day school year it has had recently because of budget cuts.
The other three days are currently used for teacher planning days.
Bernath said the recommendation would be finalized Oct. 23 and posted to the district’s website (www.fultonschools.org) Oct. 25. The calendar will then be brought back to the November community meetings for further input. Community meeting dates and times for each school board district can be found on the school district’s website. The next District 7 meeting will be Nov. 13 at 9:30 a.m. at River Eves Elementary.
“Dr. Avossa is not interested in dramatically changing the calendar,” said Bernath.
The school board will vote to accept the calendar at its Nov. 15 meeting.
One popular calendar idea expressed by parents was having a full week out of school the week of Thanksgiving.
“I would like to have a week for Thanksgiving break,” said Sue Fetherston, parent and employee at Spalding Drive Elementary in Sandy Springs. “I just feel like they don’t get much done curriculum-wise those first two days.”
Bernath said that if students are given a whole week off at Thanksgiving, they would either have less time over winter break or need to start the school year earlier or end the school year later to meet school day requirements.
Some parents at the community meeting voiced they would actually like that plan because it would match other area school district calendars better.
Parents who cannot attend community meetings may direct their questions to their elected district member.