The 21-member group, which includes parents, community reps, central office staff members and school employees that met for two hours on Wednesday, started with the possibility of 64 different calendar options but narrowed it down to one for each school year.
They were asked to take the calendar drafts back to their school communities, where they will seek additional feedback from parents, students and staff and present their feedback at the Wednesday meeting.
The group came to a consensus, with only about five people not fully in favor, on the following 2013-14 school calendar:
* Start Date: Aug. 1, 2013, teachers start July 25, 2013
* Fall Break: Sept. 30 through Oct. 4, 2013
* Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 25 through 29, 2013
* Holiday Break: Dec. 23, 2013 through Jan. 3, 2014
* Winter Break: Feb. 14 and Feb. 17, 2014
* Spring Break: March 31 through April 4, 2014
* Last Day of School: May 21, 2014
A similar calendar was presented for the 2014-15 school year.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Hungerford is leading the series of meetings with the district’s chief of staff, Dr. Angela Huff.
“This has been a divisive thing somewhat for the community, and our goal is not to just decide if we want a balanced calendar or traditional calendar,” Hungerford told the group at the end of their meeting. “Our goal is to develop a calendar that best suits the needs for Cobb County, without putting any particular label on it.”
Hungerford told the group that she believed they were “very close” to creating a final draft calendar for the next two school years, which would be presented to Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa after the group’s Wednesday meeting.
Huff also asked that each member share the list of priorities with residents while getting feedback from them on the drafted calendar.
During the group’s first meeting, they established five priorities for the creation of the calendar. Their No. 1 goal was to have breaks around late September/early October and again in February to boost morale, achievement and attendance among teachers and students.
Some of the conversation throughout the meeting included acting SPLOST director Glen Brown reiterating the importance of the school start date because it could impeded on summer construction.
Additionally, Kennesaw Mountain Drama Teacher Coy Dunn said the district should have a week-long break in September or October because it was something that “88 percent of students and staff” said they were in favor of in a poll taken during the balanced versus traditional calendar debate.
Parent Rob Stanek, who is a member of the Jessye Coleman Council, said several times that he didn’t care when the breaks were but that they should be frequent.
The group will meet again Wednesday in the school district’s boardroom between 2 and 4 p.m.
Huff said their goal is to decide which calendar to present to Hinojosa, who expects a vote by the school board sometime in October.
The group consists of eight parents, two community representatives, five central office staff members and six local school employees.
The eight parents, who were selected by the 9th District PTA Council, are Sarah Regitz and Abby Shiffman, with the East Cobb County Council; Stanek and Lisa Miller, Jessye Coleman Council; Brandi O’Reilly and Kevin Jabbari, Tom Mathis Sr. Council; and Carolyn Pusey-Wade and Janis Stevenson, South Cobb Council.
The two community representatives, who were selected by Hinojosa, are Dr. Arlinda Eaton, dean of Kennesaw State University’s Bagwell College of Education, and Wayne Dodd, board of directors and South Cobb Council vice chairman at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.
The five central office employees, who were selected by the senior staff, are John Stafford, graduation coordinator; Darryl York, director of policy development; Gary Markham, supervisor of band and orchestra; Brown; and Leanne Wood, assessment program manager.
The six local school employees, who were selected by area assistant superintendents, are Anthony Pearson, Mableton Elementary; Lisa Williams, Osborne High; Carole Brink, Dickerson Middle; Ed Wagner, Kell High; Dunn; and Cindy Stigall, Due West Elementary.
The group, which was approved by the Cobb School Board last December, was formed to help determine which school calendar best suits the Cobb school district.