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Calendar is compromise for parents
Week off restored at Thanksgiving
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Forsyth County News

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Also Thursday night, Forsyth County's school board received an update on a state Department of Education proposal to provide help for students struggling with math.

The goal of the proposal is to ensure students meet Georgia Performance Standards.

However, the board is not keen on the plan because it could, due to funding, result in fewer advanced math classes in exchange for more support classes for struggling students.

The proposal, made by Georgia School Superintendent John Barge, would need to be approved by the state education board to become a requirement.

-- Jennifer Sami

The 2011-12 school year calendar approved by the Forsyth County Board of Education appears to be the compromise parents sought.

School will begin Aug. 11, instead of the previously discussed Aug. 8 or 15, and there will be a full week of vacation for Thanksgiving.

Parents who responded to a system survey on calendar preferences overwhelmingly supported school starting later.

To push the start date to Aug. 15, however, the trade-off would have been losing the full week of vacation at Thanksgiving, for which parents had previously lobbied.

The compromise starts school on Aug. 11, a Thursday. And because students will attend school that Thursday and Friday, they won’t have to attend Monday and Tuesday the week of Thanksgiving.

During its meeting Thursday night, the board was unanimous in its support of the final calendar, which includes three inclement weather days on Feb. 21, March 19 and April 27, 2012.

There were only two in the current calendar. After the winter storm of early January, parents requested more in future years.

The last day of the 2011-12 school year is set for May 25, 2012, and students will be off April 2-6, 2012, for spring break. Winter break will run Dec. 21 to Jan. 4, 2012.

Board member Kristin Morrissey said the final draft had the best of everything and preserved the full week off at Thanksgiving, a trend that began just two years ago.

“It addresses the desire to have a later start,” she said. “I think having a couple of days the first week of school to kind of get through the paperwork, have the weekend off to catch up ... and then hit the ground running on Monday ... is just a better solution.”