CONYERS -- Rockdale County Public Schools Superintendent Richard Autry is recommending that the school board approve a normal school year calendar for next school year, but that's subject to change.
Last week, Autry recommended to the Rockdale County Board of Education a calendar for approval. The board will vote at its monthly regular session meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in the board room at the administrative office complex, located at 954 North Main St. in Conyers.
"At this point, this is a full 180 student days calendar and 190 staff days calendar," Autry said. "That is certainly subject to change and has changed over recent years. We've had to adjust the calendar due to budgeting constraints. Instructionally, we believe a 180-calendar is the most sound."
In November, a calendar committee comprised of parents at the elementary and secondary level, principals at all three grade levels and other school and district personnel met to discuss some calendar options, unanimously agreeing on the two options, which were both full school year calendars.
Those options, which were similar, were presented to the school board in December.
In January and February, the options were placed on the school system's website for public vote. About 800 people responded to the online survey, including about half parents and about 43 percent staff; students and other community members also voted.
"We had a pretty good response to the survey, and it was very balanced," said Leslie DeMarco, the chief academic officer in the Office of Teaching & Learning at RCPS.
Nearly 64 percent of those surveyed preferred Option 2, which included the school year running from Thursday, Aug. 1 through Thursday, May 29, which is after Memorial Day.
Option 1 had the school year run from Monday, July 29, through Friday, May 23.
A winter break was either Friday, Dec. 20, through Jan. 2, according to Option 1, or Monday, Dec. 23, through Jan. 3, while Spring Break was either March 31 through April 4, according to Option 1, or April 7 through 11, according to Option 2.
Earlier this month, the calendar committee met again to discuss the responses and decided to present Option 2 to the school board.
DeMarco said that most principals like to have the school year begin on a Thursday, so they have two days to work out the kinks and start fresh on Monday.
The calendar, which is similar to the current calendar, includes four week-long intercession breaks in October, November, February and April; the Spring Break is consistent with surrounding system's breaks, DeMarco said. It also includes the 10-day winter break in December and January, as well as five days of preplanning, two days of postplanning and three professional learning days for staff.
The item is part of a discussion list for the school board for next week's meeting.
The school board is scheduled to approve a tentative budget for next school year on May 16 and a final budget on June 21. The school board will hold its first public meeting to discuss the budget at 6:45 p.m. Feb. 21 before the meeting in the board room. The next public meeting for budget discussions will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, in the same location.