The Mountain Brook Board of Education approved a revised 2012-2013 school calendar due to new state legislation at its May 21 board meeting.
Alabama’s newly passed Flexibility Calendar Act requires that schools start the academic year no more than two weeks before Labor Day, which is August 20 this year, and that the year end by May 24.
“I thought they did a fabulous job because they didn’t create a lot of changes for parents and didn’t create a lot of changes for teachers,” said Crestline Elementary School Principal Laurie King. “I think the parents will be delighted.”
The approved calendar only eliminated one student holiday day from the calendar. The first day of school will be August 20, and the last day will be May 24. The holiday break for students will be Dec. 24-Jan. 3. Spring break will be the same week, March 18-22, as the calendar the board originally approved in December. Students will also be out of school on Labor Day, Veterans Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“We tried to work within the new law and to accommodate as many families as we can,” School Superintendent Dickie Barlow said in the meeting.
“I think this is a good compromise,” Board Chairman Jane Menendez said.
Teachers will return to school for professional learning on August 9. Additionally, teachers will have two flexible professional workdays; each school will determine which dates to use for those days. Principals will allow their faculty to vote on which days they take.
Overall, the new calendar provides for 12 professional development days; this year’s calendar provided for only nine.
“Those days are such valuable time for teachers,” King said.
Like the previously approved calendar, students will have “eSchool” format” days to make up any days that are missed. These dates are scheduled on professional learning days Oct. 15, Jan. 4 and Feb. 18.
Technology Director Donna Williamson said that several school systems have asked her about how they structure their school calendar with “e-days.”