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UPDATE: Hamilton County schools to keep fall break intact for 2018

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Hamilton County Schools will keep fall break intact for the 2018-19 school year, but may make changes in the years to come.  Here is the updated statement from the school district.

"The calendar review committee has been selected and work will soon begin on evaluating the school calendar for 2018-2019.  One item that will not be changed for 2018 is the schedule for the fall break in October.  The break has been scheduled for the second week in October for the last few years and will stay the same for this fall.  “Parents traditionally use the break in October for family vacations so we certainly feel there should be more than a year of advanced notice to make a change in the schedule of the break,” said Tim Hensley, communications officer for Hamilton County Schools. “The calendar review committee will begin the process understanding that we will not alter the break for next school year.”

The group of citizens, parents, teachers 
and staff reviewing the calendar will also work on developing a calendar for the 2019-2020 school year to put the school system in a position to give parents and the community the new school year calendar more than a year in advance in future school years.  The group will be given the option of considering changes to all breaks in the 2019-2020 calendar. “There may be little to no change from the original draft or the group may have some positive suggestions that can improve our calendar for children and the community,” Hensley added. “The end result is that we want to have the best possible calendar to encourage the academic success of our children.”


PREVIOUS STORY: Hamilton County Schools made the decision to delay the adoption of the 2018-2019 calendar in November to provide more opportunity to share calendar options with the community, parents and staff.   

Hamilton County Schools Supt. Dr. Bryan Johnson has decided to delay the finalization of the 2018-19 school district calendar.  In past years, the calendar has been approved in early fall, for the following school year. However, the calendar for next year, and future years will likely be determined in February or March.  

The statement from Hamilton County Schools reads:

The school calendar impacts the entire community in many ways from traffic flow on the highways to scheduling family vacations.  Realizing the school calendar is so important to the community, Hamilton County Schools is working with parents, the community and staff to develop the best possible school calendar for the community while also keeping the focus on the best calendar structure for the academic success of children.  The additional review of the calendar will delay calendar adoption later than is normal for the system but Hamilton County Schools wants to ensure involvement in the process by representatives from across the community before finalizing the 2018-2019 School Calendar.

The plan to review calendar options was shared with the system’s Parent Advisory Group on Wednesday of last week.  The parent group wanted the system to look at planning even farther ahead and also look at the 2019-2020 calendar so that the system is a year ahead

“The school calendar is important and we want to make sure we have worked with all groups impacted to find the best option for our schools and our community,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “We will complete the review shortly after the first of the year and have a calendar ready for board approval in February or March.” 
in calendar development.  The parents felt this would help many families and community groups that need to plan ahead for vacations and youth group trips and activities.  “That is certainly something we can work toward as we complete the review of the 2018-2019 calendar and we can look at moving in that direction this calendar cycle or certainly for the next cycle,” Dr. Johnson said.

A community committee is being formed to review calendar options provided by
parent, student and staff groups. The group will work in January and early February to review calendar options and prepare a calendar for board approval.  “Teachers, staff, students and the community will all be invited to provide options they would like to see included in the calendar and be encouraged to give their thoughts on options the committee considers,” Dr. Johnson added.

The committee will develop one or two options for system calendars.  The calendars developed by the committee, along with the previously proposed calendar, will be included in a final survey outlining the calendar options.  Parents, students, the staff of Hamilton County Schools and the community will be invited to weigh-in on final calendar versions and the results will be presented to the board by the calendar committee in February or March.

If you would like to participate in the calendar committee, please send an email to Tim Hensley at hensley_t@hcde.org with your name, why you would like to work on the calendar committee, and the school or schools your children attend or in which community you live if you do not have children in school.  The meeting dates and times will be determined by the participants selected to serve on the committee.

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