Board members spent about an hour during their Wednesday meeting discussing two options for potential school calendars for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
The decision is between a traditional schedule, which gives students a long summer break, and a second option, which allocates a weeklong fall break for students during the year, but has an earlier start date.
In past years, parents and teachers have voiced strong opinions on what calendar to adopt, with some advocating for a long summer break and some preferring more frequent breaks from school.
The first option presented to the board would have the school year start in mid-August, a break for Thanksgiving, winter holidays and spring break, and an end date in late May.
The other option would have school starting a week earlier, in early August, and break for a week in October, again for Thanksgiving, the winter holidays, a spring break, and then have school end at the same time in late May as the first option.
The main difference between the two calendars is the starting days of school and the presence of a fall break or not.
The school district formed a 21-member committee in 2012 to help provide community feedback on the proposed calendars.
Sarah Regitz, a parent in east Cobb, was a member of the calendar committee and said that, while there were strong opinions on both sides of the issue, there was a general consensus for a mid-August start date, and periodic breaks throughout the year, but not necessarily weeklong breaks.
Another parent, Julia Curran-Villarreal, who has two children at Sope Creek Elementary School, said she wished there was a happy medium to the calendar debate.
While her children were excited for a fall break this year, “Starting August 7, like we did this year, was too early,” and cut into their summer break.
“August used to be a vacation month, but now it is slowly going away.” she said.
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said that in his experience, “I’ve done it both ways, and it’s not really that big of a deal … you learn how to adapt to whatever calendar is chosen.”
Board member Scott Sweeney said that he had heard many complaints from parents of students in Cobb County who were teachers in other counties, and that their school breaks were not aligned with their children’s. This sentiment was voiced by other board members.
“A lot of people have opinions about calendars, but people say, ‘If you get one, pick one, and let’s use it,’” the most important thing is about continuity from year to year, Hinojosa said.