2015-16 schools calendar includes full week off for Thanksgiving

Published 4:07 pm Monday, February 23, 2015

Students and teachers at Chilton County public schools will enjoy a full week off for Thanksgiving in 2015, after a school system calendar was approved by the Board of Education on Feb. 17.

Superintendent Tommy Glasscock said being closed two extra days before the Thanksgiving holiday is the most significant difference with the calendar for 2015-16.

“I don’t know that we’ve had a single person object to it–especially being off a whole week for Thanksgiving,” Glasscock said.

In the past, schools were closed Wednesday through Friday for Thanksgiving. Glasscock said there were always numerous absences the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

“It shuts down learning when you have that many out,” Glasscock said.

Before the Christmas holiday and on the last day of school, students will be released at 1 p.m., while teachers will work until 3 p.m.

Glasscock said the early release for students is intended to give teachers ample time to prepare for an extended absence. Teachers being able to leave at a reasonable time then has an effect on custodians.

In another change, the calendar was developed by central office staff studying the plans of surrounding counties, as opposed to a committee of representatives from each school, as has been used in the past.

Glasscock said he wanted Chilton County’s schedule to mirror that of neighboring school systems because so many students and parents in the county have ties to nearby counties.

Glasscock said the proposed calendar was publicized, including on the system’s Facebook page, before it was recommended to the board, which adopted the calendar unanimously.

Professional development time (see below) must be used by teachers on matters pertaining to the curriculum.

Employee workdays, meanwhile, can be used for such tasks as preparing classrooms for the start of a new year.

The state mandates that schools be in session for 180 days.

Important dates on the school calendar include:

•Employees In-Service (Aug. 5)

•System professional development (Aug. 6)

•Employees workday (Aug. 7)

•System professional development (Aug. 10)

•Opening of school/first term begins (Aug. 11)

•Labor Day (Sept. 7)

•Columbus Day/weather day (Oct. 12)

•Student holiday [employees 1/2 workday, 1/2 professional development] (Oct. 13)

•Veterans Day (Nov. 11)

•Thanksgiving (Nov. 23-27)

•Christmas (dismiss Dec. 18, return Jan. 5, 2016)

•Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18, 2016)

•President’s Day/weather day (Feb. 15, 2016)

•Spring break (March 28, 2016, to April 1, 2016)

•Weather day (April 22, 2016)

•Closing date (May 26, 2016)

•Employees work day (May 27, 2016)