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A Message from Dr. Patterson Regarding ACS's 2019-2020 Calendar Options - 11.14.18

This is Dr. Denise Patterson, Superintendent of Asheville City Schools, with an update about our district.

 

Many questions have been asked regarding the calendar process. Therefore, I’d like to share how our three calendar options came to be.

 

Asheville City Schools’ Calendar Committee met on Monday, September 17th at 4:00 PM in the Central Office Board Room.  Those in attendance included: Teachers of the Year, parent representatives from each campus’ School Improvement Team, assistant principals, principals members of the district Leadership Team, department directors, Board Members and myself.

 

During the meeting, attendees were divided into four groups to examine 3 calendar options.  The first calendar option required an additional 15 minutes to be added to the school day across all campuses. It would begin on  August 26th and end on May 22nd. The second calendar option was similar to Asheville City Schools’ 2018-2019 Calendar. It would begin on August 26th and end on June 5th.  The third calendar option would begin on August 19th and end on June 5th. Each of the three presented options met the state’s calendar laws and totaled more than the required 1,025 hours.

 

Each of the four groups overwhelmingly selected the first option that would begin on August 26th and end on May 22nd  They asked for three calendar options to be created based off the district ending by May 22nd. When discussing their decision, the following information was identified:  a) First semester exams would occur before winter break b) It allows for additional time to prep for the new school year c) It has protected work days to complete report cards and grades d) It adds an additional 15 minutes, which is of particular interest to elementary representatives.

 

Based on the Calendar Committee’s feedback and desire to have three calendars created based on the first option, three revised calendar options were presented to the district’s Leadership Team on October 8th.  Based off Calendar Committee feedback, each of the new calendars included adding 15 minutes to the 2019-2020 school day. The first calendar option would begin on August 26th and end on May 22nd. The second calendar option would begin on August 21st and end on May 22nd. The third calendar option would begin on August 19th and end on May 22nd.  Once again, each of the three presented options met the state’s calendar laws and totaled more than the required 1,025 hours.

 

The three calendar options and feedback forms were then shared with principals on October 17.  During that discussion, it was explained that principals should share the new calendar options with their School Improvement Team and School Calendar Representatives, which includes parents.  Additionally, it was explained that the principal should facilitate a calendar discussion for their staff members to discuss the calendar options and answer their school’s feedback form.

 

Following up on this group discussion, a survey was created and shared with principals for feedback.

 

Asheville City Schools principals then shared calendar options with their families through an emailed survey that was open Monday, October 29th - Friday, November 2nd.

 

Each school also submitted their staff calendar feedback forms to the Leadership Team by Monday, November 5th.

 

Staff feedback, along with parent and community input, will now be reviewed by the district’s Leadership Team and presented to the Board of Education during their Monday, November 26th Work Session.

 

Thank you for your calendar feedback.

 

We hope this communication has been helpful to you and your family.

 

Thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools.