BOE changes calender; fewer holidays next year

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Andalusia Board of Education made big changes to next year’s academic calendar Monday night.

The changes were made to comply with the Legislature’s Flexible School calendar bill, which requires schools to start no earlier than Aug. 20 and end May 24.

School was originally scheduled to begin Aug. 6 and end May 23.

Students will return to school on Aug. 20 and will now only have vacation days on Labor Day, Veterans Day and three days for Thanksgiving and Dec. 24 through Jan. 2 for Christmas break.

With the new calendar, students lose an Oct. 12 inservice day, an Oct. 15 weather day, and two days of their Thanksgiving break, as well as several days off their Christmas break.

During the second semester, students will receive Martin Luther King Jr. day out of school and Spring Break will be March 25-29, barring no hurricanes, tornadoes or blizzards that would cause students to miss school. Students will dismiss on May 23.

During the second semester, students lose a Feb. 17 winter holiday, and a March 15 weather day, but the system had to make up nearly two weeks worth of instruction time to be in compliance with the mandated school start and finish dates.

“Spring Break would serve as our ‘rainout’ days,” Superintendent Ted Watson said. “We could have lengthened the days for our kids, but teachers are still required to work 187 days. We would look at a significant drop in child nutrition funds and potential wage and hour issues. The state department recommends a 180-day calendar and so it’s tight on the bookends.”

For teachers, they will return to school Aug. 13-17 for inservice, and they will have an inservice day on Jan. 2 and May 24.

Both the Covington County and Opp City boards meet this week, and are expected to make similar calendar changes.