Auburn school board considers 2013-2014 calendar
Jan 09, 2013 (Opelika-Auburn News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
At its meeting Tuesday, the Auburn City Board of Education heard the first reading of a proposed 2013-2014 school calendar and approved an agreement with a company to allow students to enroll online.
The proposed 2013-2014 school calendar would begin Aug. 19 and end May 22, 2014. The board is expected to vote on the calendar next month.
Assistant Superintendent Cristen Pratt Herring said the proposed calendar balances the state requirements for start and end dates against the challenges the system encountered adapting to the mandate, which was passed during the 2012 regular session of the Alabama Legislature.
Herring noted the system's calendar committee had prepared an alternative 180-day calendar with a more preferable Aug. 12 start date, which could be implemented if state laws regarding school calendars were changed to grant more flexibility in scheduling.
"Those five days back give us so much flexibility," Herring said.
Herring said the Alabama Association of School Boards had informed Auburn City Schools of the possibility of legislation during the upcoming state legislative session that would allow systems to opt out of the calendar requirements.
"We will keep an eye out on that legislative activity once that session starts and hope for good results," board Vice President Matt Clegg said.
State law requires systems to begin school no sooner than two weeks before Labor Day and end no later than the Friday before Memorial Day in late May and have at least 180 days of instruction.
Lawmakers hope the longer summer break will translate into more tax revenues. Lawmakers could revisit the scheduling requirements after the fall of 2014 depending on how tax revenues perform.
The calendars will be available online through the system's website beginning Wednesday, Herring said.
The system also approved a service agreement with Infosnap Inc. for an online registration and verification process for student enrollment. Superintendent Karen DeLano said the online option was part of an ongoing "going green" trend at the school system.
Director of Technology Debbie Rice said Infosnap would replace the current paper-based registration process and could potentially be a future option for students to register for classes and receive electronic versions of handbooks or other materials.
Responding to a question from board member Tracie West about families without Internet access, Rice said the system would still offer paper copies for those who needed it.
The board also approved the 2013 Career Technical Handbook.
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