Tuscaloosa City BOE approves revised school calendar | News
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC)- When the new school year starts in Tuscaloosa, things will be a little different.
School starts later
thanks to a new state law mandating all schools start on August 20, so that means some off days are being eliminated.
The Tuscaloosa City School Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a revised calendar for the 2012-2013 school year.
"There's not much we can do about it," said Dr. Paul McKendrick, Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent. "The law was passed and we can sit and moan about it or put a calendar together the best that we can."
The school board voted Tuesday night to cancel three holidays.
Students will be going to schools on a previously scheduled parent conference day in October, President's Day, and December 21, the last day before winter break.
To make up the other four class days, the normal school day will be extended by 8 minutes.
But the superintendent doesn't pretend four full days for 8 minutes each day is an even trade.
"You can't replace a day of instruction with the number of activities you could do," Dr. McKendrick said. "From a field trip, to discussing a novel to an assessment, to a review, to a remediation of a child, even to the fact of a child being in the building."
And McKendrick says lost in all of this is the steadying influence school can have for students who come from broken homes and who may not get breakfast or lunch if they don't get it at school.
"Even though we gain three days back in our calendar, we still have four days children aren't going to be in our building with people who provide that normalcy for them."
Dr. McKendrick says he's been coordinating with the county school system so students all over Tuscaloosa can pretty much be on the same page going into next year.
Tuscaloosa City School's start date has been set for August 20, which is the earliest date the new law allows schools to begin. The law says the school year cannot extend past May 24.
The Flexible School Calendar Act was passed 23-8 by the Alabama Senate after Gov. Bentley vetoed the bill. The sponsor of the bill, Randy Davis of Daphne, says the law would bring more tax revenue into the state by extending Alabama's tourist season.
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