Most local school districts are in a quandary, needing to approve their school calendars for 2013-2014.
Locally, Florence is the only district that has approved a calendar. They did so last week, abiding by the state’s requirement to begin Aug. 19 and end May 29.
But other districts are waiting to see if additional legislation passes that would give control back to local school boards to determine their own calendars. Such a school calendar bill is in the Legislature now as well as the school flexibility bill.
Some educators believe the flexibility bill, upon becoming law, would allow schools not just financial flexibility but more control on such matters as their school calendars.
The Muscle Shoals school board was the most recent to delay a vote on the calendar. Board president Pam Doyle on Monday night said that while the calendar should be adopted as soon as possible the board should wait on potential legislation to be settled.
Superintendent Jeff Wooten said the parameters set by the Legislature for the school year to have 180 days of instruction make it nearly impossible to not require students to come back after Memorial Day.
Wooten told the school board that until those calendar issues are resolved, school officials will proceed as if school is starting back Aug. 19.
“By law, that’s the start date and it would entail a calendar very similar to this year’s,” he said. “We hope to have a calendar to adopt in the March meeting. We realize people are planning vacations and trips, but last year we adopted a calendar early and had to take on a new one.”
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.