Muscogee County School Board to discuss eliminating year-round school calendar

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 13, 2013 

Georgetown Elementary School and Rigdon Road Elementary School could be leaving their year-round calendar to join other Muscogee County School District schools on the traditional calendar in 2013-2014.

That will be one topic of discussion at a Muscogee County School Board work session tonight in the Muscogee County Public Education Center on Macon Road. There will be no vote taken.

There also will be an executive session held prior to the work session in order to discuss the search for a new superintendent.

The calendar move for the two schools is being recommended by Interim Superintendent John Phillips Jr. following an academic audit performed by the Division of Teaching and Learning's District Design Team.

At 4:30 p.m, prior to the 5 p.m. meeting, the oath of office will be administered by Probate Judge Marc D'Antonio to the two new members on the board and the two re-elected to office. Taking the oath of office will be District 1 representative Pat Hugley Green, District 5 representative Rob Varner, District 3 representative A.J. Senior and District 7 representative Shannon Smallman. Senior replaces James Walker on the board, and Smallman replaces Norene Marvets.

Parent surveys were conducted at both Georgetown and Rigdon Road about making the switch. Rigdon Road principal Charleen Robinson has given the board the results of the survey at her school. Fifty-five said they supported moving to the traditional calendar; 78 prefer to stay with a year-round calendar; and 66 prefer a year-round calendar but are willing to support traditional.

The results at Georgetown collected by principal LaVerne Brown, show 213 preferring the change, 109 preferring to stay with a year-round calendar and 106 preferring a year-round calendar but willing to support the change.

In a letter sent to the parents, the principals told the parents that the school leaders, along with district level administrators, had been studying the effect that year-round education has had on the academic success of the students.

They found that year-round calendar students do no better or worse than students in the traditional calendar schools.

The letter also said it has become increasingly difficult for parents who have other children to be able to balance two separate calendars. The year-round calendar also interferes with family vacation plans.

Other items to be discussed at the work session include:

• Phillips plans to create a security task force that will include public safety officials, principals, teachers, parents, high school students and school district security-related support staff.

• Phillips is asking the board to approve Michael A. Davis as the principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. He is currently the assistant principal at Baker Middle School.

• Phillips is asking the board to appoint Trikella Nelson as the school district's director of guidance services. Nelson is currently the guidance director at Columbus High.

• With the recent retirement announcement by Chattahoochee Valley Libraries Director Claudya Muller, approval is being sought to spend $25,000 for a recruitment firm to find a new director.

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