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Cobb School Calendar Vote Scheduled

A member of a special calendar committee is upset with Superintendent Hinojosa's recommendation for the 2013-14 school year.

Several proposed calendars for the 2013-14 academic year will likely be up for discussion when the Cobb Board of Education holds its October business meeting Thursday.

A vote is scheduled on adopting a calendar, but the measure became more complicated at the board's work session earlier this month because of multiple proposals that were submitted.

The meeting Thursday will take place at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Cobb County School District central office, 514 Glover Street, Marietta.

An executive session is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Nine different proposals for next year's school calendar have been floated for possible action. They include a recommendation from Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, as well as proposals from board members Alison Bartlett and David Banks.

Hinojosa last year proposed the formation of a calendar committee as a means to avoid lingering controversy that roiled school board deliberations. But his recommended calendar is what he calls a "compromise" because of differing starting dates coming out of that calendar committee.

Hinojosa's proposal (see attached PDF) would start the school year on Aug. 7 and include the following breaks:

  • Thanksgiving from Nov. 25-29;
  • Christmas and New Year's from Dec. 23-Jan. 7, 2014;
  • Spring break from March 31-April 7, 2014;
  • Other student breaks would be scheduled on Nov. 5 and Jan. 6, 2014;
  • District-wide holidays would be slated for Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Jan. 20, Feb. 17 and May 26.

The last day of school would be held on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

A member of the calendar committee is disappointed with Hinojosa's proposal, saying it doesn't reflect the mission the panel was charged with, nor the overall sentiment of the group.

"The breaks are important -- that was repeated over and over," said Lisa Miller, a parent in the King Springs Elementary School district in Smyrna.

She preferred an Aug. 1 start date to accommodate a full week for both a fall break period and for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Hinojosa's calendar has no fall break, but does include a full week for Thanksgiving.

"The calendar committee had the best intention, but what you hear doesn't seem to be in the best interests of the students," Miller said.

Also on Thursday's agenda, discussions will continue on the proposed the project list of items considered for inclusion in a $717 million capital improvements package. The board is expected to vote next month on calling for a referendum in March 2013 to extend the penny sales tax that ends at the end of next year.

The Marietta Daily Journal reported that a revised project list will be presented to board members from 4-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, right before the business meeting. The proposed SPLOST IV, if approved by voters, would be collected from 2014 through 2018.

In other business before the board:

  • A vote is scheduled for the board to sharpen the criteria for its application for federal Race to the Top funding. Cobb is seeking a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that would be used to improve achievement and focus on college and career readiness in 11 middle schools that enroll an estimated 9,000 students. If approved, the funding would begin in January 2013.
  • A vote is also scheduled that would finalize the criteria for Hinojosa's performance evaluation. The proposal includes 50 percent of his score being based on the overall academic achievement of school district students.
Ziggy October 24, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Why does this come up EVERY YEAR?!?!? Does this board do ANYTHING ELSE besides talk about a school calendar?
Jack S October 24, 2012 at 03:05 PM
When you have the majority of the committee made up of pro-balanced calender supporters (ie, PTA Officers) what do you expect? Of course they are going to be miffed about Hinojosa's calendar. Honestly, the whole calendar issue is designed to waste board members time and distract the community from more important issues. Let's just bury this and accept the fact that Cobb County schools have exceeded state and national ACT and SAT scores and wound up saving more money from the utility budget this year, all under the current calendar. Somebody also needs to wake up Banks...he must still be sleeping during the meetings or he'd know NOT all of his Post supports his idea of a balanced calendar.
Frank October 25, 2012 at 01:59 AM
The publicly available board meeting agenda shows one, not nine, calendar recommendations. Including Banks' and Bartlett's versions, if they get support, makes three total. Meet in the middle, decide and move on.
Robin October 25, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Why in the world they can't put the vote out to the people is beyond me. Give us Banks, Bartlett's and Hinojosa's calendars and LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. It's our right and considering the board can't seem to decide on anything, is the only thing that makes sense. And then, put this thing to bed once and for all!!!!!
Alexandria October 25, 2012 at 11:11 PM
WHY DO WE NEED A FULL WEEK OFF IN THE FALL! ?SHOULDN'T WE CONCENTRATE ON MORE ACADEMIA?

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