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01/26/2012 - A Message from Joe Dan Lee Regarding Next Year’s Calendars

Georgetown, Texas • January 26, 2012

Dear Parents, Teachers, and Community Members,
 
Please allow me this opportunity to respond to some of the comments and concerns we have received regarding the 2012-13 proposed school calendars. and clarify the rationale for dates included in the calendar. First, I agree with many of you, I don’t care much for calendar A or B.
Here are some of the parameters with which we must work:
 
  • State law mandates that you cannot have the first day of instruction prior to the 4th Monday of August. This year that day is August 27. Beginning school the week of August 20 would solve all the comments/concerns received, but state law prevents a start date earlier than August 27th this year.
  • Ending the first semester after Winter Break is not a good option. Four years ago we tried ending first semester after Winter Break and were bombarded by complaints from staff, students, and parents of secondary students.
  • By ending first semester on December 21st there still is a 15 day disparity (80 - 95) in days in semester 1 and semester 2. Ending the 1st semester prior to December 21 or extending the Thanksgiving break increases the disparity of days in semesters. Once again, this is caused by the August 27 mandated start date.
  • The vast majority of staff, parents, and students do not like the option of ending school in June.  Summer college classes begin the 1st week of June, and many families prefer summer vacation start at that time.
  • Staff, students, and parents prefer to have two full weeks for Winter Break.

My preference would be to start instruction the week of August 20th, end the 1st semester  December 19th, and end the school year prior to Memorial Day. None of this is possible with the mandated August 27th start date.

The state law that requires the start date to be August 27th, balancing semesters to best extent possible, and local preference to end school prior to June does not leave many options.  I hope this answers questions about the proposed calendar dates and offers some level of understanding of how they were prepared.

Joe Dan Lee

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For additional information please contact:
  • Brad Domitrovich, Director of School and Community Relations
  • (512) 943-1890 • DomitrovichB@georgetownisd.org