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Columbia County adds day to next year's spring break

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:32 PM
Last updated 8:38 PM
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Students and teachers in Columbia County will have an extra day next year to recover from spring break.

The Board of Education on Tuesday approved a plan that adds the Monday after Masters Week as a holiday and starts the school year one day earlier to compensate.

“We kept having situations come up with Masters play possibly going into Monday, and we’ve got students and employees being hired by (Augusta National Golf Club),” said School Superintendent Charles Nagle. “If they went into Monday play, it would leave them in the lurch.”

In addition, he said, parents who rent their homes to Masters guests have been concerned about rentals that carry over Sunday night.

“Parents are concerned about getting their children back in town,” he said. “We have more people renting their houses, and they can’t get back in them.”

His own rental used to run Wednesday-Saturday, he said. “Now they want it the Saturday before Masters, and we don’t get in our house until 4:30 Monday.”

Nagle’s Student Advisory Council, made up of about 30 students from the five high schools, also recommended the Monday carryover.

The 2013-2014 school year will now begin Aug. 6, instead of Aug. 7, and teacher planning will begin July 31.

Comments (15) Add comment
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Mr. Thackeray
953
Points
Mr. Thackeray 04/24/13 - 02:15 pm
3
0
Yeah, that's a great

Yeah, that's a great idea...just before CCRT!!!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 04/24/13 - 02:23 pm
6
1
6 and half dozen The CRCT

6 and half dozen

The CRCT does come up quick after they return but not sure if one day is going to affect too significantly. Definately can check the stats and if it's too negative an impact, they can rescind the changes and go back to old way.

willie7
984
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willie7 04/24/13 - 04:46 pm
5
1
The questions I ask: how
Unpublished

The questions I ask: how many households are involved in Masters rentals and how many children working? Does the number warranted
a day out of school????

Sweet son
10721
Points
Sweet son 04/24/13 - 08:00 pm
2
1
@willie7

You are exactly right! Nagle and the "Board" have fallen to political pressure. The Masters is a big deal but it is over late in the evening on Sunday afternoon. Get back to school on Monday!

Little Lamb
46806
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Little Lamb 04/24/13 - 08:06 pm
3
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Rentals

If you are a Columbia County homeowner who has children in Columbia County public schools and who plans to rent your house Masters week, then set your rental agreement such that the tenants must vacate your house by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Problem solved.

What next
53
Points
What next 04/24/13 - 08:51 pm
2
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Seriously?

I had several students absent today. Maybe we should reset the calendar and take out all of the Wednesdays next year. Evidently it is difficult for some of them to get to school on Wednesdays!

John Locke
345
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John Locke 04/24/13 - 09:44 pm
2
3
Nothing to do with Masters

I've seen this for overe 10 years, the CC schools (admin and teachers) will use any excuse to make their own lives easier. It's not about the Masters, its about teachers getting back from their cruises and trips on Sunday and wanting to have Monday to get caught up for the week. I know, I've heard many of my teacher acquaintences grip about that. willie 7 makes a great point, really how many students/parents does this involve. and isn't interesting that its now all about the students and their parents. It also goes back to starting the school year earlier - even though about 6 or 7 years ago, a vote was taken by parents to NOT have school start until after 15 August at the earliest, and most wanted it to start after Labor Day. If you don't beleive me, watch the comments that will be made about my post - they will be personal and not about the points I've raised. They will call names, call my kids stupid, etc. etc. Been down this road before. In columbia county you don't step out of line, question their schools, or say anything critical lest you upset the Stepford mentality of the place. Now watch the comments begin......

Just My Opinion
5839
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Just My Opinion 04/24/13 - 09:52 pm
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The fact is there are many

The fact is there are many teachers who work during Masters week and most of them have to also work those jobs that Monday to "finish up" that job's obligations. Well, to cover for them being off, the school system uses Paraprofessionals to take the classes over. The problem is that, due to cutbacks, there aren't as many Parapros available to work and it would cost too much to pay for substitute teachers. So, the most obvious solution is to take the day off...and just start a day earlier. I guess Nagle didn't want to admit that alot of teachers depend on that extra money to make up for those furlough days and other budget cuts they get hit with! I mean, this is exactly why this has never been done before now.

bumblebeerose
684
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bumblebeerose 04/25/13 - 03:25 am
2
1
Just my thoughts

Why not start school the last full week in August and that way you would not have to have any furlough days. I understand there have been budget cuts but starting school so early in August has caused the furlough days as well.

What next
53
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What next 04/25/13 - 06:56 am
2
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How?

How has the start date of school caused furlough days?

Little Lamb
46806
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Little Lamb 04/25/13 - 07:57 am
0
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Calendar

BumblebeeRose makes a good point, and What Next did not make the connection. Here is my explanation:

Somewhere along the line, some bureaucrat in the Georgia state board of education decreed that there should be a minimum number of classroom days to be considered a full school year. I seem to remember that that magic number was somewhere around 180 days.

Then the financial crisis of 2008 hit, and in 2009 income tax and sales tax revenues to the state fell off. School districts decided to compensate for the drop in tax revenue by furloughing teachers. But the stupid thing was that they stuck with the same school calendar and spread the furlough days throughout the year.

If they had been smart, as BumblebeeRose is smart, they could have just shortened the school calendar for however many furlough days they designated. There are lots of good reasons for shortening the school calendar - - - - - one is that the buildings don't have to be lit or cooled when no one is in the building.

Smarter than furloughs, though, would have been to simply decrease teacher, staff, and administration salaries. That's a whole lot simpler than keeping up with the furlough system.

What next
53
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What next 04/25/13 - 09:16 am
1
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We don't have furloughs in Columbia County.

Starting school in late August will just extend the school year.

Little Lamb
46806
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Little Lamb 04/25/13 - 09:31 am
0
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Shhhh

Don't tell the other school systems.

db16
95
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db16 04/25/13 - 12:59 pm
0
2
Clearing the Smoke Some of You Are Living In

The U.S. Dept of Education allows each state to determine School Days and School Year Length. Almost all states in the US who are on a Normal Calendar have between 175-180 Days WITH Students. Teachers are usually on a longer contract to allow for Staff Development, Workshops, Conferences, etc. Starting later in the year is a great idea, it would definitely cut costs in August...however, it would only add to costs in June. You are trading an Apple for an Apple. Furloughing has been avoided in CC due to number crunching at the Administrative Level. They have enough sense to understand (unlike the RCBOE) that Furloughing means kids are NOT IN SCHOOL! Many of you have the same view about the added day off Monday after Masters Week...ponder this, many other geographic areas in this country get off for Presidents Day, Good Friday, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur (for the Jewish Faith) and Columbus Day! CCBOE and RCBOE don't observe these holidays...so why is there no stink over that? At least this Monday after Spring Break will truly benefit those Students, Faculty and Administrators who work or rent their homes that week. It also alleviates any issues if the Tournament should go into Monday (which has almost happened the last 2 years!). So I think the CCBOE made a great decision on this one and it won't be long until the RCBOE and ACBOE follow suit!

scoobynews
3896
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scoobynews 04/25/13 - 06:25 pm
1
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John

Let me inform you that not one Columbia County teacher was asked if this is what we wanted. In fact I don't have cruise or trip money since I haven't had a raise in almost 10 years. The teachers that did go on trips left on Friday and were back in plenty of time before the week ended. No this was purely for the "rich" minority in the county who felt they needed an extra day.

charles6780
203
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charles6780 04/25/13 - 06:43 pm
1
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Minority spoils for the majority

Once again the powers that be on the hill, make a change that impacts many, but is for the benefit of the "few". If one rents their home or works, the expectation is that you should take possession of your home on Sunday and be back at work on Monday. This is the most ridiculous idea. As for the current superintendent, he is leaving, so this decision is of little consequence for him at this point. Did anyone poll the teachers, parents, community - no a small group decision. Welcome to the new norm.

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