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Call to Arms: The School Calendar

A plea for everyone to contact their school board representative about the upcoming school calendar vote.

Maybe I should have said a call to keyboards and cellphones.  

Yesterday, the Cobb County School Board voted to include a new calendar option on the agenda for the next meeting. This means that we, the community, have a new chance to let the school board representatives know how we feel.

Now, I believe in Albert Einstein's definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, if nothing had changed in the school board since February, I would not be writing this at all.

But several things have changed since February. School board members have been called in front of the grand jury to explain their actions. SACS asked for a review, then told them to get training. So the school board has gone through training, to help them not only learn their own policies better, but to help them learn how to function as a school board.

What does this mean to us?

It means we have a chance to work with the school board to get a calendar acceptable to everyone. It means that maybe, just maybe, the school board members will decide to represent the voters of Cobb County. But only if they know what the voters of Cobb County think.

So, please, I beg of you,  contact your school board member and let him or her know what you think about the new calendar option. You can call. You can email. You can send a letter through snail mail; use semaphore, telegraph, smoke signals. Just contact your representative with your opinion. After all, it is your right and responsibility to let your representative know your opinion on this matter.

To make it easier, here are the email addresses and phone number for all the school board members:

  • Post 1 - Lynnda Eage, lcrowder-eagle.boardmember@cobbk12.org, 404-697-9562
  • Post 2 - Tim Stulz, tstulz.boardmember@cobbk12.org,  678-773-1877
  • Post 3 - David Morgan, dmorgan.boardmember@cobbk12.org, 404-702-1857
  • Post 4 - Kathleen Angelucci, kangelucci.boardmember@cobbk12.org, 678-896-6399
  • Post 5 - David Banks, dbanks.boardmember@cobbk12.org, 404-725-3394
  • Post 6 - Scott Sweeney, ssweeney.boardmember@cobbk12.org, 678-646-2470
  • Post 7 - Alison Bartlett, abartlett.boardmember@cobbk12.org, 404-702-9291

For snail mail, semaphore, telegraphs, and smoke signals, use the district office:

514 Glover Street
Marietta, GA 30060

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael Jacobs June 10, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Kathryn's right. The school board will vote on whether to change from the traditional calendar with the Aug. 15 to Banks' proposed Aug. 8 start. He explains his plan in an email to Bartlett posted with this article, http://patch.com/A-jkGr: "I move to adopt a modified calendar for the school year 2011-2012 that will have a school start date of August 8th, one week later than the Balanced Calendar and one week earlier than the calendar adopted on February 17th. This can be easily accomplished by extending the school day by only 10 minutes, which will buy three school days, and applying the budgeted two furlough days to the first week for a total of five school days. The September, Thanksgiving, Christmas, February, and Spring breaks would remain as designated in the November 2009 adopted calendar for the school year 2011-2012."
M Zeller June 10, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Seriously? On June 23 the school board will consider changing calendar dates LESS THAN 6 WEEKS AWAY? Fortunately (I think it's fortunate) I believe that even the CCSB has more sense than that. But that my representative on the school board would be the one to seriously suggest such a thing? Ridiculous and embarrassing. Mr. Banks, give it up and address the issue (again) at the appropriate time. Give the community some time to restore just a little bit of trust in the CCSB organization and function before you go screwing with it again.
lisa56 June 15, 2011 at 04:52 AM
I just returned from a wonderful visit to an elementary school in Southport, ME. When I asked about their start date one teacher stated that it was the Tuesday after Labor Day. She then told me that parents were forever complaining that they should start earlier. Their schools are not air conditioned and within the last few years there have been a number of days in August when the temperatures there reached the high 80s and low 90s and yet people complain that school should start earlier. When children lose as much as two years of reading ability over a two month summer break and as much as a year and a half in math shorter breaks certainly seem to be a reasonable remedy to that loss. Mr. Banks is not my school board representative but I do receive his newsletter. There are times I agree with him and times that I do not. I appreciate that he is willing to make the antics of the school board more transparent. The Cobb County School Board has been reprimanded on numerous occasions for holding closed session meetings when the meetings should have been open to the public. I believe that Mr. Banks is the only board member willing to share information that the other board members would prefer the stakeholders not know. Thank you Mr. Banks.
lisa56 June 15, 2011 at 05:13 AM
All Cobb County School System employees were asked to participate in the original balanced calendar survey. It was not limited to administrators and teachers. I was an employee of the system at the time and was not a teacher or an administrator. I was not pressured by an administrator to answer a certain way nor would I have allowed myself to be. I answered the survey questions based on what I believed to be best for the students, the parents, the employees, and the community. I also wrote to SACS because I believed that the Cobb County School Board members had lost sight of their duties as representatives of their communities and instead were consumed with their personal agendas. If there was "corruption" among former board members and the outgoing superintendent it would have been appropriate at the time of those infractions for anyone who knew about it to report it to SACS and the media. Please share your evidence of SACS being a "corrupt organization" and the Grand Jury jurists being past and present CCSS "people".
lisa56 June 15, 2011 at 05:30 AM
The important part of working together now is to prove that after numerous admonitions and the possibility of losing accreditation the Cobb County School Board members have learned how to make decisions based on data presented rather than personal opinion. The effect on businesses should be of no importance to the seven board members. Their job is to aid the school system in making decisions that will provide the best education possible to the children of Cobb County and provide the best work environment for its employees. The madness was started by one current and three newly elected school board members who upon joining the board proceeded to shove their agenda down the throats of their constituents. Seventy percent of those people who responded to the survey, which was agreed to by the school board, supported the balanced calendar. Mr. Banks and Ms. Eagle-Crowder are the only two of the seven board members who have ever responded to my emails. Is there something the others fear?

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