Thursday Night (February 17th, 2011) the Cobb County School board voted to recind its previously approved 2011-2012 school year calendar. This 4 – 3 decision to take away what was known as the “balanced” calendar caused confusion and dismay even for those who were not originally in favor of that calendar. Unfortunately, these types of flip flop decisions by the CCSD school board seem to be the status quo.
What is the “balanced” calendar?
In the Cobb County School District a “balanced” calendar begins in early August, and has one-week breaks in September, November, December/January (two weeks), February, and April, with the last day of school occurring before Memorial day.
Although the “balanced” calendar caused some parents to scramble to find child care options, most people turned the extra school breaks into a positive, and took more affordable off-season family vacations.
Another positive to a calendar with more breaks is the need for fewer substitute teachers, because the regular classroom teachers are less absent due to illness. Interestingly, the September and February breaks occur right about the time students and teachers are absent most often for illness.
Where does that leave us? Well, start changing your plans.
If you planned any vacations, family visits, or other events for these school holiday breaks, go ahead and scrap them. If you have children, and you like to use the school calendar to plan things out a year in advance, forget it. In fact, the newly approved caledar has students starting back to school on August 15th, 14 days later than previously scheduled.
This may seem like no big deal, but most people have already planned their summers. The bottom line is that parents, students, grandparents, day camps, and child care facilities can’t really make plans, because they can never be sure what the school calendar will be from year-to-year. After all, this year was the first of three in the approved, but now recinded, “balanced” calendar.