Obion County Board of Education
January 10, 2011

Agenda Item: VIII.D.

Discuss Proposed School Calendar for the 2011 – 2012 School Year

Background Information :

click here to view School Calendar for the 2011 - 2012 School Year

The school calendar committee met several times to discuss a proposed school calendar for the 2011 – 2012 school year. This committee met diligently, taking various ideas back to their respective schools for discussion with staff and coming back with different school calendar requests. For the most part, members of the school calendar committee were the same as from prior years; therefore, our meetings were routine and focused on the task at hand. Parameters established and challenges for the committee were

  • a preference for starting school as late as possible v. keeping a somewhat traditional week of fall break;
  • continuation of the tradition of dismissing students for Fair Day;
  • at least 150 days of instruction prior to TCAP testing;
  • as close to 75 days of instruction prior to AYP/EOC exams for high school students; and
  • most importantly, establishing a calendar that is most beneficial to teaching and learning

As in the past, the notations on the school calendar for “73rd Day of School 1st Semester,” “150th Day of School,” and “78th Day of School 2nd Semester” are for informational purposes only. There is no State law or State Board of Education Regulation that requires students to be in school any length of time before testing; however, “unofficial” research does indicate that students perform better on the state mandated TCAP tests if the students have been exposed to 150 days of instruction. In addition, state law now provides that TCAP tests do not have to be administered until after 150 days of instruction further emphasizing that the 150 days of instruction prior to TCAP testing has some merit. Keeping with this research theory, every attempt was made to ensure high school students were exposed to 75 days of instruction prior to AYP/EOC exams. Since the Board adoption of block scheduling, being in school for 150 days before TCAP testing has not been an issue; however, I have not taken the aforementioned notations off of the comments section of the school calendar.

The committee agreed upon and adhered to the parameters set in the development of the proposed calendar. The committee voted unanimously to recommend the proposed 2011 – 2012 school calendar for Board approval. Every school administrator and teacher voted on two (2) proposed school calendars (one with a fall break and one without a fall break) and by the slimmest of margins (150 of 298), the vote was to start school later and have a long weekend around Columbus Day for our fall break. With the extreme hot weather we have experienced over the past couple of years, I believe the proposed school calendar is a wise choice. Also note that this proposed school calendar is for 175 school days (v. 180 days in the past), students are in class until December 20th prior to the Christmas break, and students are in school only 2 weeks past the mandated testing windows.

With the following recommendation, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all members of the calendar committee.

Staff Recommendation:

On behalf the of calendar committee, I will recommend approval of the school calendar for the 2011 – 2012 school year at the Board’s February meeting. The calendar is being distributed in January to allow the Board time to review prior to voting.