New proposed school calendar could have students starting early

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – After two proposed school calendars were sent back to the proverbial drawing board, the Calendar Committee has released what it hopes to be the final version and be approved by the Indian River County School Board on March 23.

The newest calendar calls for school to start earlier than the first calendars scheduled – on Aug. 18 instead of Aug. 23. Parents and students protested an early start date for the 2010-2011 school year at a school board meeting in December, begging the district to not start school as early as Aug. 9.

How those same parents and students feel about an Aug. 18 start date is not known.

The new calendar features uneven semesters and school on Veteran’s Day – a day traditionally schools are closed.

First semester would have 83 days and the second semester would have 97, for a combined 180 days of school instruction.

The calendar committee has worked exams into the schedule prior to Winter Break and a day off for students the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which parents had asked for due to holiday travel plans.

The calendar is expected to comply with the teachers’ union contract with the school district.

The school year is scheduled to end on June 2 with graduations on June 3 and 4.

The calendar committee had presented a similar calendar to the school board in February at the same time Superintendent Dr. Harry La Cava presented his own version.

Both calendars had the same start date, six teacher work days, FCATs before Spring break and an emergency day scheduled in the second semester.

The committee’s calendar, however, had equal semesters and exams after winter break, while the superintendent’s did not.

Members of the committee and general public protested the superintendent’s calendar, saying that his proposed calendar was not created in the open, as the committee’s calendar is required to be.

They also said all proposed calendars are supposed to be presented to the committee, which had not been done.

Instead of approving one calendar over the other, the school board decided to send both calendars back to the committee to try and reconcile the differences.

 

What the newly proposed calendar offers:

Pros

Earlier start date for students allows Winter Break to begin on a Monday

Exams are before Winter Break

There is an Emergency Day in each semester

Teachers and students off due to conferences on Wednesday, November 24th which extends the Thanksgiving holiday weekend

Students exit earlier than in prior years’ calendars

Complies with teacher contract

Cons

Unequal semesters

No day off for teachers and students on Veteran’s Day

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