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Take a look at Forsyth County Schools’ 2024-25 school calendar
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Deputy Superintendent Mitch Young presents the 2024-25 school calendar to the Forsyth County Board of Education.

The Forsyth County Board of Education approved the school system’s 2024-25 school calendar at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15, following several rounds of community and staff feedback.

Forsyth County Schools Deputy Superintendent Mitch Young presented an initial draft of the calendar to the board last month, but local school councils, staff, principals and the community have since asked him and his team to make a few changes.

Young told the board at its last work session that many of these requests revolved around the year’s start and end dates, the addition of cultural and religious holidays for students and staff and the growing number of virtual learning days.

“There were a lot of concerns or complaints, and conspiracy theories perhaps, that we’re moving to a year-round school calendar,” Young said. “This early start date of Aug. 1 [in the 2024-25 calendar draft] really set that on fire in terms of feedback.”

He explained that the district has been starting the school year on the first Thursday of August since 2015, giving students two days to settle in at school before starting the first full week of classes.

The only exception has been the 2020-21 school year when it was delayed until Aug. 13 to give staff time to prepare virtual coursework for students during the pandemic. The school year started on Aug. 1 for students in Forsyth the year before that in 2019.

“We have not moved the start date up,” Young said. “It’s just where the calendar falls every year.”

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The final 2024-25 school calendar.

Some also suggested waiting to start the school year after Labor Day in September, but Young noted that there must be 178 student days and 190 staff days in every school year. If those days in August were removed, the district would have to add days later in the year, taking away from the fall, Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

Young and his team decided to keep the Aug. 1 start date for 2024 in the finalized calendar.

He said the cultural and religious holidays many community members requested were also not included to keep the balance offered by the breaks currently in place.

“When you look at our calendar, none of [the breaks] are tied to a specific religious holiday or cultural holiday,” Young said. “The holidays we take off are generally tied to federal holidays that have to do with U.S. history that have become part of American culture, if you will, through the years.

“But really when you look at it strategically, they’re taking advantage of those holidays because they come at times where our folks need a break and our students need a break,” he continued.

But the district did decide to add one new holiday to the calendar for students and staff — Election Day.

The Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections and many in the community requested that Election Day be open for the students and school staff who volunteer at the polls each year.

“We also want to make voting available to our teachers,” Young said. “A lot of them can’t go do the early voting because they’re locked into a classroom. It’s not like a normal job where you can kind of step out. They live by their bells each day.”

In the initial calendar draft, Young and his team suggested making Election Day a virtual learning day for students to give them time at the polls while also fitting school work into their day.

But following community suggestions, the district turned it into a full student holiday, and students and staff will be able to fully participate in the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election.

To balance the calendar out, Young said they then moved back staff members’ professional development day following winter break, removing the student holiday that was initially planned for Monday, Jan. 6.

The Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the final calendar on Tuesday, and it is now available to view on the district’s website at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.

2024-25 calendar highlights:

●     Each semester contains 89 student days, totaling 178 student days and 190 staff days;

●     The school year starts on Aug. 1;

●     Fall break lasts for a week from Sept. 23-27;

●     Oct. 18 will be a virtual learning day for K-8 students during parent conferences;

●     Election Day on Nov. 5 is a student holiday;

●     The winter break starts on Dec. 23 until students come back on Jan. 6;

●     Spring break is March 31 through April 4;

●     The last day of school is on May 22 just before Memorial Day weekend.