Teachers will have a shorter school year than anticipated following the Forsyth County Board of Education’s decision Thursday to adjust the 2012-13 calendar.
Teachers were slated to work 190 days, but instead will be working 187.
According to Dan Jones, the system’s finance director, the adjustment likely will save the school system about $3 million.
“Coupled with the increased employer medical costs we have to fund for the upcoming school year, we are also projecting continued shortfalls in local and state revenue,” Jones said after the meeting. “In anticipation of this, we have made a revision to the 2012-13 student calendar to provide adequate time for families to plan.”
The adjustment, which also includes one fewer student day, still brings the total number of school days to 178 for students and 187 for teachers. Those are the same numbers as the current year.
However, when drafting the 2012-13 calendar, it was easier to budget for more days and have to make reductions than the other way around, said Board Chairman Tom Cleveland.
“A lot of people have plans,” he said. “It’s easier to … take away days than to add them.”
The calendar has school beginning Aug. 9, ending May 24 and includes a full week off for Thanksgiving and spring break and two weeks at winter break.
Board member Ann Crow said she’s nervous about the future.
“So many schools in the area are having to drop more days than we have and that’s what scares me,” Crow said. “We have to hope that this is going to stay.”
Associate Superintendent Joey Pirkle reviewed the changes with the school board.
Among the revisions was making Feb. 18 a student and staff holiday, making Oct. 19 a staff holiday. Also, Aug. 2 will be a day off for high school staff and Dec. 21 a day off for elementary and middle school staff.
Board member Kristin Morrissey asked why the system bothered to add the extra days for next year to begin with.
“I guess we were optimistic,” Pirkle said. “We certainly felt that would show our staff that we’re trying to do everything we can to save those days.”
For parents, however, the only change next year will be getting Feb. 15 off in addition to Feb 18 for President’s Day.