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Schools considering changing calendar
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The Effingham County Board of Education discussed the possibility of changing the calendar for next school year.

By the current 2007-08 calendar students would attend school on Good Friday and have the week after Easter off for spring break.

“A concern is there are some people that have made plans based on the calendar that has been approved,” Superintendent Randy Shearouse said.

Shearouse told board members the state added an additional week for schools to administer the high school graduation test, which was the reason for the current scheduling.

He said board staff also talked with the high school administrators about having four days to review for the GHSGT.

“They felt like that was ample amount of time because now they’re involved in preparing students for the high school graduation test really all year,” Shearouse said.

He said when he was an elementary principal there was a year school was in session on St. Patrick’s Day, and there was very low attendance. One of the proposals would give students a day off on March 14 and for the day of the parade. It also would provide for a day off on the Monday following Easter Sunday.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a big day in our area,” Shearouse said.

Shearouse said the change would move the last day of school from a Wednesday to a Friday.

He told the board the second option would change planning days for teachers. He said the high school teachers have asked for Dec. 20 as a planning day. He said that is the day grades are due, and it would give the teachers a day to finish getting grades together, and elementary teachers would have the day to clean up. Spring break would be the same as in the first possible change.

Shearouse told the board he could use the connect ed phone system to call parents in the system to take a vote on the change.

Board member Troy Alford said he would like to see what the parents thought about it. He said regardless of the decision the board makes they will not be able to make everyone happy.

“If we are going to (change the calendar) we need to do it soon so the old calendar is not lingering out there for other people to make plans,” Chairperson Vera Jones said.

The board will wait until it gets feedback from the community before voting on the change.