Henry Schools considers calendar proposal

Designated make-up days included

The Henry County School System is looking at a slightly different calendar next school year, compared to years past. A proposed calendar includes a later fall break, a later semester break, and make-up days for emergency school closures.

“After last year’s winter storms, there was quite a bit of feedback from parents in the community regarding their desire to have known which days, exactly, were going to be used as make-up days, so they could have made plans accordingly,” said J.D. Hardin, the school system’s communications specialist.

Students were asked to cut short their winter break last February, as school officials determined to use four of the five winter break days to replace those missed because of a winter storm earlier in January.

School officials pointed to state rules that require a 180-day school year for students, or the equivalent instructional minutes. They noted that districts are allowed to waive as many as four school days, due to severe weather, or other emergency situations, without the necessity of obtaining State Board of Education approval.

Hardin said there is no requirement, or mandate that the system set aside days as make-up days on its student calendar. “[However,] the system saw the advantage of the idea suggested by the community, and went ahead and designated three days as potential make-up days,” said Hardin. “The only complication occurs with this plan if there are weather-induced closures after the first potential make-up day passes.”

In April, the system set aside three make-up days for the current school year — March 12, 2012, along with May 29, and May 30 — in the event of emergency school closures. Henry’s proposed 2012-13 student calendar also includes three make-up days, on March 11, 2013, and June 3 and June 4.

Based on the proposed 2012-13 student calendar, the system’s school year would start six days later next school year. The proposed calendar also pushes back fall break, from the second full week in September, to the last full week of September.

The fall break was the consequence of the Georgia Board of Education establishing the administration of the Georgia High School Graduation Test the week of Sept. 10-14, 2012, according to April Brown, Henry’s director of administrative services.

Henry’s semester break also would begin officially on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2012, as opposed to the week prior in December. In turn, students would begin their second semester of school on Jan. 7, 2013.

The 2012-13 calendar maintains a winter break that begins on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 18, 2013. Spring break, too, has retained its first week of April spot on the calendar. The system’s proposed calendar sets that last day of school on May 31, 2013.

On the net:

Henry County Schools: www.henry.k12.ga.us