School calendar options differ in start date, fall break

State legislature could further alter plan for 2019-2020 school year

The White County School Board of Education wants feedback on a pair of proposed calendars for the 2019-2020 school year.

The two options were presented at the Thursday, Jan. 31, school board meeting. White County School System Superintendent Dr. Laurie Burkett said the calendars have been sent to parents, who are being asked to vote on them. Burkett said she wants to present the results to the board at a meeting later this month for a possible vote.

The Version 1 calendar featured an earlier school start date, with teachers returning on Monday, July 29, and students starting on Friday, Aug. 2. This version also has a fall break scheduled from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. Version 1 also has students starting back from Christmas break on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Version 2 has teachers returning on Monday, Aug. 5, and students starting on Thursday, Aug. 8, but the calendar doesn’t include a weeklong fall break. It instead has a teacher workday on Friday, Oct. 4, and student/staff holiday on Monday, Oct. 7. Version 2 has students returning from Christmas break on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Parents can find a link to the survey on the school system’s website, www.white.k12.ga.us.

But the survey isn’t the only factor potentially affecting how next school year’s calendar will look. The Georgia General Assembly could consider legislation setting guidelines for start and end dates, after a state Senate study committee submitted a slate of recommendations based on a series of hearings last year about the topic.

Burkett said that if a related bill is passed, school officials will revise the calendar. Until then,  they wanted to proceed as usual with planning.

Also during the meeting, the board approved Charlie Thomas as its vice chair for 2019, and the law firm of Harben, Hartley and Hawkins as the school board attorneys for 2019.

A schedule of meeting dates for 2019 was also approved. The meetings will be held on the last Tuesday (8 a.m.) and Thursday (6 p.m.) of each month, except for in May, October, November and December. Meeting dates are as follows: Feb. 26, Feb. 28, March 26, March 28, April 23, April 25, May 21, May 23, June 25, June 27, July 23, July 25, Aug. 27, Aug. 29, Sept. 24, Sept. 26, Oct. 22, Oct. 24, Nov. 19, Nov. 21, Dec. 17 and Dec. 17. The board conference/training is July 26. The Georgia School Board Association summer conference in Savannah is June 7 and 9, and the winter conference in Atlanta is Dec. 5 and 6.

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