Are School Schedules Fair to Students, Parents?
Start times, dismissal times, bus routes and summer vacation. There are lots of factors that go into school schedules, and whenever school systems tinker with them, somebody ends up unhappy.
Several metro Atlanta school systems have been tackling the complicated issue of school schedules recently, treading into a topic that's sure to upset many parents.
The Atlanta Public School System recently decided to wait until March to design a calendar that not only meets state requirements and encourages attendance and achievement, but also considers the needs of families.
Transportation concerns are one of the main issues facing APS. At a recent Grady High School public forum, attendees were told that changing bus schedules and school start and end times would result in improved student safety, on-time arrival, breakfast participation and ride times for special needs students, as well as avoiding having to add 50 new buses.
DeKalb County's embattled school board made an unpopular decision last fall to shorten the summer break and adopt a so-called "balanced" schedule. The move was supported by most teachers but not popular with parents. Summer break was shortened by two weeks, with vacation days built into the fall and winter.
Classes under the new calendar begin for students on Aug. 5 and end on May 29, 2014.
The Decatur School System caught some flak when it changed the start times for its one high school and middle school, its 4/5 Academy and two elementary schools. Several bus routes were also adjusted.
What do you think about the start and end times for your local schools? Does your child's vacation schedule work for your family? Is there a better way to make schools run on a schedule that works for kids, parents and school employees? Tell us what you think in the comments area below.