The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has released two proposed calendars and is asking the public to comment on the options.
Last year, Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson proposed calendar changes for this fall but decided to wait to implement any changes until next year after parents and community members voiced concerns.
According to a media release, the two proposed calendar options are a result of collaboration among parents, teachers, principals and administrators.
The first calendar is a “traditional” calendar with a start date of Aug. 12 and an end date of May 23. The second option is a balanced calendar, which begins the school year on Aug. 5 and ends it on May 29. Each semester includes an additional week of vacation.
Both calendars have 180 school days for students and an additional 10 days for teachers, composed of nine work days and four two-hour teacher conference nights. Currently, City Schools of Decatur and Rockdale County Public Schools have a balanced calendar.
Among other considerations is a weekly one-hour early release to allow for professional development for all teachers and administrators.
“To provide the best possible education for our students, our teachers must also be life-long learners,” Atkinson said. “These professional learning opportunities will help our staff help our children.”
The district is taking public comments on the two calendars and a survey is available until Sept. 29. DeKalb schools spokeswoman Lillian Govus said the results of the survey and comments will be reviewed by the calendar committee, which will then make a calendar recommendation to Atkinson.
“The committee is made up of a parent, a teacher and a principal from all of the five districts in the school system,” Govus said. “It’s also made up of human resources representatives.”
Govus said the calendar committee has researched what other districts in the surrounding area have done with their calendars. Once the committee makes its recommendation to Atkinson, she will then present the findings and recommendation to the school board at its Oct. 1 work session.
The board is expected to finalize the calendar at its Oct. 8 business meeting.