Selecting a 2014-15 school calendar

When it comes to public school calendars, Oconee County establishes them a couple of years ahead of time. But it’s likely to take a while longer before Oconee settles on the calendar for 2014-15. The reason is that calendar option #3 includes a three-week break, beginning with Christmas week, followed by New Year’s and, finally, the first week in January. There would be no school the first week in January 2015, except for those students requiring remediation, which has been a goal of Dr. Michael Lucas, superintendent of education. As it was described during last night’s board of trustees’ meeting, option #3 would be a “modified, modified” calendar. Lucas asked and received the board’s permission to submit the calendar to teachers, students, and parents for their reactions before a vote by the board. Lucas likes the idea of a week of remediation at mid year for those students needing it. He told the trustees that it would be the kind of “thinking out of the box” that the trustees want him to engage in as the district improves it academic levels. Dr. Michael Thorsland, assistant superintendent of operations, last night also presented two other calendars for consideration. They are more of the traditional types of calendars, although one of them calls for a start of classes on a Monday in August, which teachers have found to be a bad day to start a new year.