School year to start, end earlier

January 13, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Summer vacation will start a week earlier for Carroll County students in 1995, but only because it will be a week shorter in 1994.

Carroll County schools will start Aug. 29, before Labor Day, which will allow them to dismiss students for the summer on June 8, 1995, a week earlier than usual.

Many school administrators have favored such a calendar in the past, but the school board approved it only once.

Most complaints about the idea were related to Carroll students who participate in the state 4-H fair during what will now be the first week of school.

Peter B. McDowell, director of secondary education, said most 4-H activities are scheduled in late afternoon and evening because most students across the state already start school before Labor Day. Carroll was one of four counties that started later.

Last month, school administrators suggested another break from tradition, having teacher conferences in the same week as the Thanksgiving break. Superintendent R. Edward Shilling advised against that yesterday, saying that at a recent meeting, assistant principals of secondary schools pointed out that many students go deer hunting the Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving, when the conferences are now held.

The change would have avoided spreading the break over two weeks. But Mr. Shilling said he believed it would have led to more student absences.

"They're going to go deer hunting that Monday and Tuesday with or without the blessing of the school system, I'm sure," he said.

As a result, next school year's calendar will continue the practice of giving students Thanksgiving and the day after off, as well as the following Monday and Tuesday during teacher conferences.

Other highlights of the calendar:

* Teachers will not attend professional days on primary and general election days.

* The winter holiday will begin with dismissal two hours early Dec. 23 and end Jan. 3, a Tuesday. Staff members will get Monday off because New Year's Day falls on a Sunday.

* Students will be off Feb. 20 for Presidents Day, but teachers report for a professional day.

* Spring break will be April 14 and 17, Good Friday and Easter Monday.

* The last day will be June 8 for students and June 9 for teachers.

The calendar chosen was one of five options the staff prepared, with modifications suggested by board members Joseph D. Mish and C. Scott Stone, who wanted to pare down the calendar to ensure that school would be out by June 8 if it was to start before Labor Day.

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