October 8, 2012 - DeKalb County: (left to right) DeKalb County School Board members Paul Womack, Jr. and Donald E. McChesney listen as board member Nancy Jester ask questions during a discussion on the balanced calendar at the DeKalb County School Board meeting on Monday, October 8, 2012. The balanced calendar was passed by the board. JOHNNY CRAWFORD /JCRAWFORD@AJC.COM
WSB Poll: Are you in favor of a balanced school calendar?
A survey shows parents hate it and teachers love it.
The DeKalb County school system will shift to a new school calendar next year that shortens summer break.
The school board voted 6-2 Monday for the “balanced” calendar. Two weeks will be taken away from summer break and add it back as vacation days in fall and winter.
Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson says the summer break is too long and students start forgetting things.
School will start back Aug. 5 instead of Aug. 12 and will end May 29 instead of May 23. Students will get a three-day fall break in October and a four-day winter break in February, which will be tacked onto President’s Day.
59 percent of the 4,300 parents that took an online survey say they wanted to stick with the traditional calendar. But of the 5,800 teachers that took the survey, 68 percent approved the new plan, according to Deputy Superintendent Kathleen Howe.
That was enough for the school board.
Board member Donna Edler says she voted yes because teachers took the brunt of budget cuts and this is something she wanted to do for them.
But Nancy Jester and Don McChesney says it will be harder for parents to find child care during the school year than during the summer.
“I think we’re losing a lot of parent goodwill,” Jester said.