By Matt Lasley firstname.lastname@example.org
February 14, 2014
The Grayson County School Board approved the calendar for the 2014-2015 school year during its regularly-scheduled Thursday, Feb. 13 meeting.
According to the calendar, the first day of school for students in the 2014-2015 school year will be Tuesday, Aug. 5 , 2014, and the last day of school will be Monday, May 18, 2015.
Additionally, Fall Break has been set for Oct. 6-10, 2014; Winter Break has been set for Dec. 22-31, 2014; and Spring Break has been set for April 6-10, 2015.
Superintendent Barry Anderson said Grayson County Schools received 300 responses to a survey about the 2014-2015 school year calendar.
Anderson said a major goal in formulating the calendar for the next school year was to “get as many instructional days in without going into June while starting as late as possible.”
“9/10 of the staff don’t want to start in July,” he said.
In addition, Anderson said he prefers that the students not have to attend the entire first week of school, but this year they will start on a Tuesday rather than a Wednesday.
The 2014-2015 school year calendar also, for the first time, specifies how Grayson County Schools will make up missed days, Anderson said.
According to the calendar, make-up days will be taken in the following order: Jan. 16; Feb. 16; May 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, and 29; April 6 and 7; and June 1, 2, and 3.
Another change for the 2014-2015 school year will be the addition of Friday, Aug. 1 as a District-Wide Professional Day.
In other business:
*The School Board addressed the public’s concern over what days will be used as make-up days in the current school year.
Grayson County Schools have thus far missed 11 days.
Currently, Monday, Feb. 17, Friday, March 28, and Friday, April 18 have been designated as make-up days, but as of now, it is too soon to finalize the remaining make-up days.
Anderson said he anticipates Grayson County Schools will likely miss another day or two, so final make-up days probably won’t be selected until mid-March.
“You cannot finalize the schedule on February 13 becuase you don’t know how many more days you’re going to miss,” he said.
Anderson said the school system “won’t touch Spring Break until necessary.”
However, he went on to say that if three or four more days are missed, “it’s obvious we’re taking Monday and Tuesday [of Spring Break].”
*Supervisor of Instruction for Elementary Schools/District Assessment Coordinator Carla Purcell presented the new Annual Measurable Objectives for Grayson County elementary schools in 2014.
Purcell said the All-District goal has been set at 63.7.
In addition, Purcell presented the results of the Kindergarten Screenings for incoming kindergarteners.
According to Purcell, the data gained from the screenings are meant to determine whether students entering kindergarten are prepared, as well as provide their teachers information about how to best educate them.
According to the screening results, 42.3% of incoming Grayson County kindergarteners were prepared for kindergarten before starting school.
While the number is slightly below the state average, Anderson said this is not indicative of whether the students will excel in school.
Grayson County is largely a poverty-stricken area, and this likely prevented several students from receiving early education, Anderson said.
“That’s a challenge that we have to overcome,” he said.
Anderson also pointed out that the more people who are surveyed, the lower the score will be.
“[The results] give teachers starting information to help put interventions in place to close the gap [between prepared and unprepared students] early,” Purcell said.