Opp gets first look at 2014-15 school calendar

Published 11:20 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

To maximize students’ time in the classroom, a proposed 2014-15 Opp City School System calendar has students starting class a week earlier and eliminates half days.

The schedule, which will be posted for review and comments before adoption, was presented to the school board Tuesday.

“We’re getting away from half days because they’re not productive in education,” Superintendent Michael Smithart said. “We want to maximize the time in the classroom.”

As a result, the overall instructional days would decrease from 180 to 175, he said. Teachers would be required to have 12 professional development days.

“Our commitment to instructional days is greater,” he said. “Even though we have less days, it’s more time in the classroom for students.”

Highlights of the calendar include:

• Classes begin Aug. 11, with teacher in-service Aug. 4-8;

• A four-day weekend for students in October when an in-service day is coupled with the Columbus Day holiday;

• A full week of Thanksgiving vacation for students;

• A two-week Christmas vacation for students;

• Spring break is moved to a week later than usual – March 27-April 5. It is set to coincide with Andalusia and Covington County school systems; and,

• The last day of school is May 21.

“We plan to vote on this calendar at the next meeting,” Smithart said. “So, it’s important for people to know it’s out there.”