Changes Ahead For 2014-15 Metro School Calendar - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Changes Ahead For 2014-15 Metro School Calendar

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by Emily Luxen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Parents, teachers and students sounded off on some potential changes to the Metro Nashville Public Schools 2014-15 calendar on Wednesday.

The district's calendar committee presented two possible suggestions for a new school calendar. The committee consists of teachers, parents, principals and central office staff.

The first option was a balanced calendar with intercession. It consists of 175 instructional days, 4 days each for intercession in October and March, and 5 days each for fall break and spring break.

School would start August 1 and end May 28.

Officials said intercession days provide an opportunity for students to extend learning beyond the classroom, and have already been part of the existing school schedule.

The second option considered was an extended year calendar. It would feature 180 instructional days, no intercession days, and 5 days each for fall break and spring break. 

School would start August 1 and end May 28. It would also cost the district an additional $20 to $21 million for the added days. 

The majority of people who voiced their opinions did not support either option, and instead favored returning to a traditional calendar. 

Some argued the balanced calendar results in a shortened summer, and others said the long intercession breaks hurt student's momentum. 

Others voiced concerns about getting the additional funding needed to make intercession days successful.

"If a teenager has three months off in the summer, they can work at a job and increase the amount of money they can save for college," said one parent.

"My children are there for academics, they aren't there for breaks," said another parent. "All the breaks slow them down."

However, one student said the intercession breaks were productive, and helped keep her focused.

"When I was in school we were looking forward to that two week break," said the student. "We had teachers looking forward to it. When we came back, we were like, ‘we are ready to do this.'"

Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register said he appreciated all the feedback.

"This has been productive," said Dr. Register. "We want everyone's ideas - positive or negative. We will compile these comments and hope to get more comments."

The school district will be conducting phone polls during the first week of school, and officials also encourage people to give feedback on the district's website.

The district's calendar committee will make a final recommendation to the school board during its August meeting.  Board members get the final vote on the issue.


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