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BOE approves calendar with early dismissals

Published 10:28pm Monday, December 16, 2013

Students in Hartselle City Schools will be releasing students early every other Thursday next year in an effort to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and school staff.

The Hartselle Board of Education introduced its 2014-2015 school calendar at its November meeting, but it included delaying the start of school 90 minutes instead of dismissing students 90 minutes early.

School Superintendent Dr. Vic Wilson said one of the main reasons why the calendar committee chose to change it to early dismissals was due to Hartselle High School already having an early dismissal program.

“We already had it in place at Hartselle High School and it has worked well,” Wilson said. “It was also unknown if it could affect funding that we receive since our school attendance numbers are tied to funding. And it also gives us the flexibility to extend professional development time if it’s needed.”

Wilson said the school buses are going to continue running on regular schedule on those Thursdays. He said that principals will be getting together to create a plan for how they can offer students educational opportunities.

“This isn’t going to be a day care,” Wilson said. “We’re going to offer educational opportunities for the students who will be remaining at school for the rest of the day. The principals will be getting their ideas together and we will bring those ideas back to you.”

After the November meeting, the school board solicited input from the community on the new calendar via an email address. Wilson told the board that they had received 90 emails.

Of those emails, only about one-third of them were related to the early dismissal/delayed start issue.

“Most of the emails were complaining about the early start date (Aug. 7),” Wilson said. “Overall, I felt like the response was positive to the new calendar.”

The school calendar features two semesters with 90 instructional days in each term. Teacheres will report for two “flex day” professional development days on July 31 and Aug. 1, 2014. Teachers will also have three workdays Aug. 4-6 before classes begin Aug. 7.

In addition to the Labor Day, Veterans Day and the Thanksgiving holidays, school will also be closed for a fall break Oct. 13 and 14.

The last day before the Christmas holidays begin is Dec. 19.

Schools will be closed for two weeks and teachers will report for a workday Jan. 5, 2015, and classes resume Jan. 6.

In addition to a spring break March 23-27, 2015, the system will have three weather days on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day and April 17.

The last day for students will be May 21 with graduation being held May 18. Teacher’s will have one final workday May 22.


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