USD proposes 2013-14 school calendar change - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

USD proposes 2013-14 school calendar change

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

With a new school year comes new changes for parents, teachers and students.

Shelby County School District's proposed 2013-14 school calendar will look very similar to the current one, but the difference comes during the holidays.

MORE: Shelby County Schools website

When the bell rings for the new school year in August, parents and students will notice a few changes. In taking a look at the Unified school District's draft calendar for this year, Memphis city schools students get at least two weeks out for Christmas vacation. This year students don't get out until two days before the holiday.
The reviews about the new calendar are mixed.

"I think kids get worn out," said one parent. "I think parents get worn out. I don't think kids and parents get enough time to spend together either. I personally don't like it at all."

"Yeah, it probably will affect those that go out of town that will be a pincher for those that go out of town early," added Rose Edwards, parent. "But it wouldn't be so bad for those folks that are in town, really in the end you can't make everybody happy anyway."

By Tennessee state law, students need to be in the classroom for 180 days of instruction. The new proposed calendar still takes that into account. Students will get out of school on Dec. 23 under the new proposed calendar, but they won't return until Jan. 6, 2014.

"It was moved by three days up and that was in effect to balance the instructional days on each side of the calendar year," said David Reeves, Unified Schools board member. "So they're still getting 11 days. We're not cutting any winter break time."

"Members of the Unified Schools board say the calendar is still considered a draft, meaning the dates can be adjusted. Nothing is set in stone.

"We have a calendar committee that meets," Reeves said. "We get stakeholder input from the community, teachers. They were allowed to do that this year through a survey. Based upon that survey we were able to drive the fall break dates, the spring break dates, and to some degree the winter break dates as well."

"They're better off in school because so many kids are unsupervised, because the parents have to work and kids need to be in a place instead of just home alone," said Carol Ervin, parent.

Board members are hoping to get the final calendar out early enough so parents and students will get used to the new dates.

"They'll have more time of the calendar year," Reeves said. "I think that more than compensate for their ability to schedule their vacation time."

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