Public Addresses Board About Balanced Calendar
Some Cobb County residents believe the current balanced calendar provides too many one-week breaks for students.
Although it wasn’t discussed by the Cobb County Board of Education at Thursday night’s meeting, seven of the 21 community members who addressed the board during the extended public comment period discussed the current balanced calendar.
For the first time this school year, the Cobb County School District is using a balanced schedule. The calendar roughly divides the school year evenly before and after the Christmas break. A traditional calendar starts later but could force students to finish projects during the holidays.
Two citizens were for the calendar, and five citizens were against it. Connie Jackson, the president of the Cobb County Association of Educators, said she surveyed 1,000 of her constituents and 89 percent stated they liked the balanced calendar. Another citizen, Betsy Bunte, said she didn’t want the calendar changed because it would penalize parents who had already scheduled vacations based on the balanced calendar.
Kincaid Elementary fourth-grade student Carlyn Blauvelt was one of the people who spoke against the balanced calendar.
“I’m a very good student, but I find it hard to get back in the routine with so many breaks because there’s always another one around the corner,” she said.
Carlyn also told the board that she asked some of her classmates about the schedule and 17 wanted a longer summer vacation and three favored more school-year breaks, which the balanced calendar provides.
“They were saying the kids would like this schedule, but they never asked the kids about it so I thought that maybe I should at least give an opinion of what the kids think,” Carlyn told Patch during the meeting’s five-minute break after the public comment period.
Blauvelt’s mother, Katrina, addressed the board after her daughter and read off the first semester’s schedule.
“Fourteen days on, early release, seven days on, Labor Day off, nine days on, September break (with) five days off, 15 days on, early release all week, six days on, Election Day off, 13 days on, Thanksgiving week off, three weeks on and two weeks off (for Christmas break),” she said.
Sope Creek Elementary PTA Liason Kelli Evertsen said she e-mailed her calendar proposal to board members earlier this week. Her option offered only three extended breaks during the school year, with one at Thanksgiving, another during the holidays and the last in early April.
“I feel the one-week breaks are a bit excessive," said Evertsen, a mother of four children in the district and a former teacher. "I feel they don’t make people energized, they make our kids more sluggish.”
The balanced schedule is to be discussed again at the Feb. 9 work session.