An academic calendar approved by the Calhoun County Board of Education on Thursday night won’t move the first or last days of school, but will add more in-service days for teachers.
“The support staff and teachers voted not to have an institute day,” Calhoun County Superintendent Joe Dyar said prior to the meeting. “In years past we’ve had an inspirational speaker come one day prior to the start of the school year, but teachers seem to want more time for planning and time in their classrooms before students start.”
According to the current calendar, teachers have 11 days set aside for in-service or professional development. Under the adopted calendar for the 2018-19 school year, teachers will have 13 days.
The in-service days will also be spread out throughout the school year as compared to this school year, when teachers served several of those days at the beginning of the semesters.
Teachers will have one less day of fall break, two fewer days of Thanksgiving break, and two fewer days of Christmas break, according to the approved calendar.
Dyar said a committee of school staff, teachers and administrators met this month and last to put together three or four possible calendar options.
“We want all stakeholders to have input,” he said. “Those those three or four options are put out for viewing by all our educators. Then they electronically vote for their choice for what they feel best meets the needs for the kids and teachers.”
The board also passed a resolution supporting the proposed 2.5 percent salary increase for teachers that currently is pending before the state Senate.
“What we’re trying to do is send a message to Montgomery that we fully support a minimum of 2.5 to 3 percent raise,” Dyar said. “Hopefully they’ll act on that resolution.”
The board also voted to approve new contracts for Wellborn Elementary Principal Jeanna Chandler, Alexandria Elementary Principal Derek Cobb, Wellborn High Principal Chris Hayes, Alexandria High Principal Mack Holley, PASS program Principal Julie Hood, and Ohatchee High Principal Bobby Tittle.
Those contracts also come with a pay raise between $1,500 and $2,500. During last month’s meeting, the school board voted to approve new contracts for four other principals but board member Tobi Burt voted no because of the pay raises. Burt said he believed that all staff and teachers should be getting raises if the principals are.
During Thursday’s meeting, Burt cited the same objection to “the raise not the employee” with all principals except Julie Hood, whom he voted yes on. All other board members voted yes on the contracts, with the exception of Debbie Hess, who abstained on one vote.
In other business, the board:
Unanimously approved a motion to name the Saks High School band hall
Recognized Jena Goosby as employee of the month and Jana Hadley as technology teacher of the month
Recognized the Pleasant Valley High School Agriculture students for work done at central office
Recognized Kody Coppock, of Ohatchee High School, as a National Merit finalist
Recognized Kalee Johnson, of Alexandria High School, as a state champion in shot put
Recognized Alexandria, Pleasant Valley, Saks, Weaver and White Plains high schools wrestling teams for various accomplishments in their seasons.