Board approves 2003-04 calendar

A fall break will not be included in the 2003-04 Shelby County Schools calendar.

At the Shelby County Board of Education’s February meeting, the board unanimously approved school calendars for the school system and Vincent.

The calendar for the school system other than Vincent does not start a week earlier than usual as proposed, Aug. 6 instead of 13 and does not include an extra &uot;fall break&uot; for students in addition to the traditional spring break.

The fall break that had been proposed would have been Oct. 6-10.

Valley Intermediate PTO President Scott Smith spoke against the fall break.

He said his PTO was &uot;almost unanimous&uot; in opposition to the idea of extending the school year by a week and including a fall break in the middle of the high school football season.

Smith said his group understood the idea of less brain drain behind a fall break, but he said, &uot;Why not extend the school day … why not come in on Saturday?

&uot;But we don’t. There are limits.

&uot;We also understand they are children, not young adults, not little people.&uot;

Smith also offered that the school system is not responsible to guarantee results.

He said it is up to the parents to keep their children from &uot;brain drain.&uot;

School Superintendent Evan Major said it has been the practice of the school system for the past five years to develop a school calendar and put it out for input.

He said one suggestion during the past several years has been to start the school year earlier with a fall break and to align test times to match the state.

&uot;It was a very popular idea coming in,&uot; said Major.

But he said the board wanted public input.

Major continued that

it seemed the &uot;timing&uot; of the fall break

&uot;is not right &045; right now…&uot;

&uot;I don’t think it is a dead issue, but an issue we’ll just look at very carefully,&uot; he said.

Major proposed a schedule for the rest of the school system other than Vincent with new teacher orientation on Aug. 7-8, teachers institute on Aug. 11, teachers workday on Aug. 12 and the start of school on Aug. 13.

He also recommended a Vincent calendar developed by the people of Vincent.

The Vincent calendar begins with a teacher workday on July 23 and ends with a teacher workday on May 28. The last day of school and graduation is

May 27.

School Board member Peg Hill told Major: &uot;I support your recommendation. But there are going to be a lot of disappointed principals, teachers and support personnel.

&uot;Hopefully we’ll revisit this issue latter.&uot;

Major said: &uot;Our calendar affects a lot of people. We want it to meet the needs of all our children.&uot;

Included in personnel actions, the board also unanimously approved certificate upgrades and increases in rank from two to one for Alan Thompson, Rebekah Austin, Betty Longshore, Laura Jones and Donna Lett.

According to Major, the certificate upgrades and changes in rank from two to one relate to higher academic achievement from bachelor’s to master’s degrees and do include payraises.

According to the Shelby County School System salary schedule, pay is also based on level of experience.

Based on the experience levels provided by school officials and the salary schedule for a nine-month contract, Thompson, a level three-year teacher, will see an increase in annual pay from $32,851.68 to $37,675.56;

Austin, a level one teacher will see an increase in annual pay from $29,674.68 to $34,105.20; Longshore, a level seven teacher, will see an increase in annual pay from $34,439.16 to $39,405.84;

Jones, a level zero teacher, will see an increase in annual pay from $29,538.48 to $33,969.48; and Lett, a level five teacher,

will receive an increase in annual pay from $33,149.28 to $37,971.60.

Nominated to the county board of equalization by the board of education were Karen Parrish, Frances Phelps and Charles Knowles.

Under the category of out of state field trips, the board approved the following:

Calera Elementary for 54 students to attend the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tenn., at a cost of $60 for students on May 12. The sponsor is Carter Sayle.

Columbiana Middle for

45 students to attend Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Tennessee Aquarium at a cost of $60 for students on April 22. The sponsor is Mary McNeillie.

Oak Mountain High for 22 students to participate in a soccer event at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Ga., on March 27-29 at no cost for students. The sponsor is D.O. Dearman.

Oak Mountain High for 91 students to visit the Tennessee Aquarium on April 28 at a cost of $26 for students. The sponsor is Tina Mills.

Oak Mountain Middle School for 60 students to attend Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta, Ga., on May 3 at a cost of $60 to the students. The sponsor is Jerry Toole.

Oak Mountain Middle School for 90 students to attend Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on May 9-10 at a cost of $200 for students. The sponsor is Jerry Toole.

Pelham High School for 40 students to attend a French Impressionism art exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 27 at a cost of $25 for students. The sponsors were Kim Bradford and Michelle Myers.

Pelham High for 11 students to participate in a tennis event

March 14-15

in Pensacola, Fla., and Gulf Shores at a cost of $100 for students. The sponsor is Betty M. Shives.

Pelham High for eight students to attend the Junior Civitan Alabama Central District Convention at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on April 11-13 at a cost of $150 for students. The sponsor is Mary L. Harris.

Pelham High for 130 students to attend Physics/Physical Science Day at Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta on April 25 at a cost of $55 for students. The sponsors are Beth Flynn and Chuck Hanke.

Shelby Elementary for 18 students to visit the Tennessee Aquarium, Ruby Falls and Rock City on May 12 at a cost of $60 for students. The sponsor is Carter Sayle.

Thompson High for 77 students to attend a Muse’e d’ Orsay &uot;Paris in the Age of Impressionism&uot; exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta March 5 at a cost of about $25 for students. Sponsors are McCray/Gray, Byram, Thompson and J. Smitherman.

Thompson Middle School for 150 students, half the seventh grade (Cherokee Team) to attend the Imax Theater, the Tennessee Aquarium, a river cruise, bus lunch and dinner on March 14 at a cost of $55 for students. The sponsor is Susie Price.

Thompson Middle School for 150 students, half the seventh grade (Mustang Team) for the same trip as above at a cost of $55 for students. The sponsor is Susie Price.

Vincent High JROTC for 23 students to attend adventure training on the Ocoee River in Benton, Tenn., on May 17 at cost of $55 for students. The sponsor is retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Moore.

Major recognized Inverness Elementary for having the highest attendance percentage for the fifth month of the 2002-03 school year