GRISD selects 2015-16 calendar

TYE CHANDLER sports@theglenrosereporter.com
Glen Rose ISD

Current Glen Rose High School juniors will enjoy their graduation in June of 2016.

Each year, a school district must develop a calendar for the following year. For GRISD, the calendar is formed by a committee that gathers feedback through a survey.

"Our committee met three times in January and February," said Tommy Gibson, assistant superintendent of operations. "The committee consisted of campus representatives, community representatives and administrative representatives. We met initially to discuss the parameters of the survey and the two calendar options."

Calendar Option 1 for the 2015-16 school year called for a graduation date of May 27, while Calendar Option 2 included a graduation date of June 2. For both calendars, school begins Aug. 24.

"Calendar Option 2 received 60-percent approval in a survey conducted in late January," Gibson said. "Based on that, the calendar committee recommended a final drafted calendar based on option two to the board of trustees at the February 23 board meeting. It was approved 7-0.

"Participation for the survey was nearly twice as high this year. Option two received 57 percent of the vote from our staff, while it received 62 percent of the vote from parents."

Holidays for option two include Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving break (Nov. 25-27), winter break (Dec. 21-Jan. 1), Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Spring break (March 7-11), Good Friday, bad weather day on April 25, bad weather day on May 23 and Memorial Day. It also includes 10 days of teacher prep/inservice.

"It's been four years since we've finished in June," Gibson said. "People like the periodic breaks. We tried to be mindful of federal holidays, as far as when parents will be off of work."

The State of Texas has mandated that school must begin on the fourth Monday in August.

"We must go for 177 school days, and in order to finish in May we wouldn't have several holidays including Presidents Day, MLK Day and Columbus Day," Gibson said. "I think the state needs to look at (changing) the mandatory start date of the fourth Monday in August."

Gibson said teachers are required to work 187 days and there can't be holidays on STAAR test days. Mandatory holidays are Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the winter break, Good Friday and Memorial Day. There must be two bad weather days scheduled.

Gibson was pleased to see one of the survey options gain 60-percent support.

"It was good to have a clear majority in the voting," Gibson said. "That's always better than 51-49. I think both calendar options are good.

"We just wanted to have everybody's feedback to see what they thought about extending school into June. Everybody seemed to like it the last time we did it, but then the majority voted to end the following year in May."