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School calendar opinions shared page 2
Large public input has Spotsylvania School Board still undecided on vote for 2013-14 calendar


Date published: 2/10/2013

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Superintendent Scott Baker established the Calendar Committee last fall. Then principals held community meetings to solicit the thoughts of staff and the community on it.

Board members said most comments are on one issue: the start date.

Those who favor Option A like the idea of starting when most divisions in the region start.

Nurses and attendance officers noted that the September date eliminates problems they had gathering information to get children fully registered from divisions not back from summer break, Shelley said.

People preferring the Aug. 26 start liked the benefit of providing Advanced Placement students an extra week of instruction prior to May testing. Some teachers also like the idea of getting administrative matters behind them in late August so they can focus on instruction by Sept. 3.

Board member Linda Wieland received about 150 emails and said she's not only analyzing the overall preference but is also looking specifically at teacher input.

"I'm a teacher at heart," said Wieland, who retired after a career as a Spotsylvania elementary teacher. "That's going to be a big impact on my decision."

Board members agreed that either option would be acceptable.

Jim Meyer, who had received 25 emails as of Thursday evening, said he was leaning toward Option A based on the tally of his input and the committee's recommendation.

But he said he is remaining open to new information and would be interested in Baker's recommendation.

Board member Bill Blaine was undecided as of Friday. With about 15 people weighing in at that point, he's hopeful for more input.

He said he's accustomed to an August start when he served a school division in Arlington Heights, Ill., but said he is open to what works best here.

His goal is to select a calendar that can be used consistently in the future.

Board members agreed that whatever happens with the 2013-14 calendar is likely to impact the direction in following years.

The Calendar Committee is scheduled to present its proposal for the 2014-15 calendar on March 25. The board would then vote on it April 8.

From then on, the division wants to have its calendar established about 16 months in advance.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972
Email: pgould@freelancestar.com


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Two options remain in the running for the 2013-14 school calendar in Spotsylvania based on public input. The Calendar Committee recommended Option A.

OPTION A: START: Sept. 3 WINTER BREAK: Two weeks SPRING BREAK: One week END: June 13, 2014 GRADUATION: June 6 and 7, 2014 OPTION C: START: Aug. 26 WINTER BREAK: Two weeks SPRING BREAK: One week END: June 6, 2013 GRADUATION: May 30 and 31, 2014

The Spotsylvania School Board is scheduled to decide the upcoming school calendar at Monday's meeting.

The meeting will also include time for public comment on the budget for next year.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the administration building, 8020 River Stone Drive in Massaponax.