New calendar plan: Start date now back in August

The last time the Board of Education reviewed a calendar option for the 2013-2014 academic year, they were looking for a September start to school. Not any more.

According to “Version F,” of the calendar, which is up for a vote Tuesday, the first day of school is now slated for Monday, Aug. 26, a little more than a week before Sept. 3, which was listed as the start date previously. Here’s a look at Version F:

There are a few other changes between this sketch and the last version reviewed by the board. For example, the earlier start date allowed the school board to build in seven inclement weather days, rather than the three built into the previous version. Seven sounds like a lot, but given the fact that the district used up every day in its arsenal by the beginning of November this year, “better safe than sorry” may be a sound policy for 2013.

According to the draft, the board and the administration still have not settled on where to find two professional development days in the calendar. During a recent meeting, there were a few options tossed around the table, like Monday, Dec. 23, which is currently set to be the first day of December vacation.

The Policy Committee of the Board of Education is set to discuss this calendar version at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the fifth floor conference room at Government Center (888 Washington Blvd.), then the full board is supposed to approve the committee’s version during the 7 p.m. regular meeting.

If you’re incredibly interested in this topic, there are two things you should know:

1.) They could make a lot of changes to this calendar during the committee meeting on Tuesday night, so don’t be surprised if the final version doesn’t look like this.

2.) You can voice your opinion on the calendar. While audience participation isn’t allowed at committee meetings, there is a scheduled “Time for the Public to be Heard” during every regular board meeting. Those who want to pipe up are allowed three minutes to express concerns near the beginning of the meeting.

What do you think of the calendar?

Maggie Gordon