Source: NorthFulton.com

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School calendars continue traditional path for students
One day added back to the 14-15 school year as system moves toward 180-day schedule

by Candy Waylock

November 07, 2012

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. As expected, the school calendar for Fulton County students for the next two years will likely be similar to the calendar of the past two years, as officials are poised to adopt a traditional calendar for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years.

This includes making up three days cut from the traditional 180-day school year.

"We've spent countless hours collecting information and data from community members, meetings with our Teacher Advisory Council, principals as well as students, so we feel we've gotten good input from the very beginning [of the process]," said Fulton School Superintendent Robert Avossa.

The calendar is a traditional calendar, with few major changes, which allows the least disruption to the schedule, Avossa said. The system logged more than 1,300 comments on its website that asked for feedback from the community on the calendar.

"We said from the very beginning that we were going to have a very traditional calendar [so that we can] spend most of our time and effort on quality teaching and learning," said Avossa. "Making small tweaks to the calendar, we believe, is the best way to stay focused on that."

Both calendars will start school in mid-August, end the Friday prior to Memorial Day and close out the first semester prior to the start of the winter break. The only significant changes are a full week off for the Thanksgiving break and an additional day to the school year in the 2014-2015 school year.

Two years ago, amidst a budget crunch, Fulton Schools reduced the school year from 180 days to 177 days for students, and added several minutes to the school day to make up for the three days. Beginning next year, Avossa said he plans to add one day back to the calendar until it reaches the full 180-day school year; however any reduction of the school day will be determined at a later time.

Spring break will remain the first full week of April, after the first Sunday, and will align with most metro Atlanta school systems.

Avossa presented the recommended calendars for the next two school years during the Fulton School Board meeting in October for first read. Pending any significant concerns, the school board is expected to approve the calendars at the November board meeting, allowing a full month to gather community input prior to adoption.

Both proposed calendars can be seen on the Fulton County Schools website, at www.fultonschools.org.