The DeKalb Board of Education has voted to approve superintendent Cheryl Atkinson's recommended 2013-14 calendar, after receiving more than 12,000 responses for input.
The district now adopts a balanced calendar, and classes will begin for students on Aug. 5, 2013 and end on May 29, 2014.
The approved calendar includes 180 days of instruction for students and 190 teacher-contract days. The semesters are divided equally with 90 days of instruction for each. One of the 10 teacher-contract days is comprised of four two-hour conference nights scheduled by each school during the year. With the balanced calendar, the first semester, including all final exams and End of Course Tests, will conclude prior to the winter break.
Tucker parent Marsha Ashby responded via email to Patch's request for comment: "I am in favor of the more balanced calendar. I like it for a number of reasons which include:
1. By the middle of July my kids are stir crazy so going back to school a week early is good.
2. I like to have the extra days off in the school year so we can plan vacations when the travel rates are less expensive.
3. As a board member at a neighborhood pool that has challenges with its annual budget, it means we will spend less in lifeguards since we will have an extra week of only being open in the afternoons. I know that many parents will be upset and they are concerned about childcare and time for the kids to have fun but I believe the childcare facilities will adapt."
Based on feedback received, the spring break was moved to be in line with other metro-Atlanta districts. Spring break will be April 7-11, 2014. While the approved calendar has an earlier start date, it includes two additional weeks of vacation during the school year.
“We are grateful to our calendar committee for sharing their time and expertise to put this calendar together,” said Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson. “We must continue to challenge our students to achieve ‘victory in every classroom,’ and this calendar will reduce the amount of time our children are away from our schools.”
Tucker High School principal James Jackson told Patch: "I support Dr. Atkinson with her vision for the Dekalb County School District."
The board’s vote does not include early release days, which will be an administrative decision.
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