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BOE looks at calendar for next school year
STC thanks board
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Effingham County Board of Education members discussed the proposed 2008-2009 academic calendar at their meeting last Thursday.

Superintendent Randy Shearouse told the board the process for determining a calendar includes suggestions from the superintendent advisory committee and input from the schools and teachers at the schools.

Teachers would go back on July 30, open houses would be held on Aug. 4 and 5, and the first day of school would be Aug. 6.

“We had a lot of positive comments this year about having two open houses,” Shearouse said.

Parent teacher conferences are scheduled for Sept. 10 and 11. The calendar includes a two-day fall break Oct. 16 and 17, and three days off at Thanksgiving. Students would have off beginning Dec. 19 for the Christmas holiday, and return to school on Jan. 5.

Students will have Feb. 13 and 16 off, a spring break from March 13-17, and April 10 and 13 off for Easter.

“We looked at doing a longer time for spring break, but the testing windows did not allow for it again,” Shearouse said. “Testing starts at the beginning of April, and we have to have nine days of testing. Elementary and middle school principals did not want to test the early part.”

Shearouse said the principals also did not want the students to have a long break and then come back to school and begin testing.

“The reason we start early goes back to the high school, and wanting to get the 90 days in before Christmas,” he said. “If you start later and still have your break, then the students have to come back after Christmas to take their end of course tests.”

Shearouse said he did not think it is beneficial for students to be out of school for two weeks and then come back to school for a week before taking their end of course tests.

The calendar is on the school board’s Web site for review and comments. Shearouse recommended the board approve a calendar for next school year by the second meeting in September.

Also, Savannah Technical College President Dr. C.B. Rathburn thanked the board of education for its support.

“We just wanted to come and say thank you for your patience,” he said. “This has been an exceptionally long process to get where we are today. We are in the soft opening. We are in the soft opening primarily because of the work we want to do with Effingham County schools.”

There are more than 100 Effingham high schoolers enrolled with Savannah Tech earning dual credits.

“If everything goes as planned, I should be coming before the board a few more times this fall about some more exciting things,” Rathburn said.

STC Effingham campus interim director Carol Paulk said the doors for the new building are open and the staff is in place. The fall quarter begins Sept. 28 with programs in business management, allied health and technology.

“Students will be able to begin and finish at this campus,” she said.

Shearouse said the board likes the location, and they look forward to working with Savannah Tech to establish a career academy.