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School calendar decisions explained


While you’re enjoying a peaceful evening surrounded by your tiki torches, keep one thought in mind: school doors will open in less than a month.

Now, that may be good news or bad news depending on your point of view, but if you have children, you’ll need to have notebook paper and markers rounded up for that first half-day Aug. 11.

And, since planning ahead is a good thing, go ahead and circle Oct. 16-20. That’s when students in Knox County will be out for fall break.

Christmas break won’t get started this year until Dec. 23, since the students’ last day will be Dec. 22. Spring break is scheduled March 19 through 23. And the very last day of the year will be a half-day May 25.

The next year’s calendar — 2007-2008 — will include a start date of Aug. 9.

Fall break is scheduled for Oct 22-26.

Christmas break will begin Dec. 21.

The school calendar may be a mystery to many parents. They’re so busy that in-services and holidays can take them by surprise.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Donna Wright, explained the intricacies of the calendar.

First of all, it’s created two years ahead. So between October 2006 and spring 2007, the calendar for the 2008-2009 school year will be set.

A lot of people participate in the decisions about the calendar – 13 to be exact. The professional advisory council meets three times a year, and is composed of teachers, administrators, a Board of Education member and an urban representative, Wright said.

The idea of a fall break has been discussed by the council for about five years, she said, after the school system received a lot of calls from parents who wanted to know why Knox County didn’t have a fall break and Anderson and Blount Counties did.

The break, coupled with how Christmas day falls in the week, created a situation of going late into December, Wright said.

"When we spread out the breaks, they [parents] see that as a good time, a refresher for everyone.

“Something that’s beyond our control is Christmas, when it falls. It’s right next to a weekend."

She pointed out that students had to attend late into December about eight or nine years ago, and that "as Christmas progresses down through the week," students will get out sooner.

Wright said the school system received only about five phone calls from parents who were unhappy about their children going to school through Dec. 22.

"A few people think we’re trying to sneak in a year-round calendar. That’s not even a possibility or a consideration. With fifty-three thousand kids and such a large district, it’s really hard to do system-wide."

Wright said the school calendar has to take into consideration tests such as the PSAT, election days at schools and the The University of Tennessee schedule.

"It’s required that we attend school one hundred eighty days."

She said 85 days are needed for the first term. The balance of the days are used in the second term, with a goal of being out before Memorial Day.



Knox County Schools

2006-2007 School Calendar



• Aug. 11 (Friday) First Day for Students - 1/2 Day for Students, All Day for School Personnel

• Sept. 4 (Monday) Labor Day — Holiday

September 13 (Wednesday) End Middle and High School 4 1/2-weeks Grading Period**

• Sept. 21 (Thursday) End Elementary School First Grading Period

• Sept. 22 (Friday) Student Holiday, Staff Development Day

• Oct. 13 (Friday) End Middle and High School 9-weeks Grading Period

• Oct. 16-20 (5 Days) Fall Holidays

• Nov. 7 (Tuesday) Student Holiday, Teacher Inservice Day

• Nov. 10 (Friday) End Elementary School Second Grading Period

• Nov. 17 (Friday) End Middle and High School 13-weeks Grading Period

• Nov. 22 (Wednesday) Day Before Thanksgiving Holidays — 1/2 Day for Students, All Day for School Personnel

• Nov. 23-24 (Thursday and Friday) Thanksgiving Holidays

• Dec. 22 (Friday) End Elementary School Third Grading Period and Middle and High School First Semester (18-weeks and 9-weeks) Grading Period

• Dec. 25 - Jan. 5 (10 Days) Mid-Winter Holidays

• Jan. 8 (Monday) Student Holiday, First Day for Teachers After Holidays , Staff Development Day

• Jan. 9 (Tuesday) First Day of School for Students After Holidays

• Jan. 15 (Monday) Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — Holiday

• Feb. 9 (Friday) End Middle and High School 4 1/2-weeks Grading Period

• Feb. 16 (Friday) Student Holiday, Inservice Day

• Feb. 19 (Monday) Student Holiday, In-School Inservice Day

• Feb. 23 (Friday) End Elementary School Fourth Grading Period

• March 16 (Friday) End Middle and High School 9-weeks Grading Period

• March 19 - 23 (5 Days) Spring Holidays

• April 6 (Friday) Good Friday – Holiday

• April 9 (Monday) Student Holiday, Staff Development Day

• April 10-18 (7 Days) Achievement Tests Administered To All Students in Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

• April 13 (Friday) End Elementary School Fifth Grading Period

• April 27 (Friday) End Middle and High School 13-weeks Grading Period

• May 17-19 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) High School Commencements

• May 25 (Friday) End Elementary School Sixth Grading Period and Middle and High School Second Semester (18-weeks and 9-weeks) Grading Period

Last Day for Studens — 1/2 Day for Students

 

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