Vincent celebrates 10 years of calendar

Ten years ago, Vincent became the first community in the state of Alabama with a year-round school calendar.

To mark the occasion, a celebration was held last week in the media center of Vincent Elementary School.

On hand were current elementary school principal Tricia Corbett, current VES assistant principal Beverly Miller, former VES principal Calvin Smith, former Shelby County School Superintendent Dr. Norma Rogers, current Elementary Program/Area Specialist Mark Gray, current elementary school coordinator Rickey Darby and current Shelby County Board of Education member Peg Hill.

While it still remains the only year-round school community in Shelby County, there are now 69 other year-round schools in Alabama, according to Corbett.

At the time Vincent adopted the year-round calendar, Corbett was a guidance counselor at VES and Smith, who held the position for 34 years, was principal.

Corbett, who is now in her sixth year in her current capacity, credits Dr. Rogers with having started the year-round school in Vincent.

&uot;Basically it was her vision. She mentioned it in an in-service meeting,&uot; Corbett said.

But Rogers is quick to note that starting the year-round calendar in Vincent was a group effort.

&uot;We wanted to see if we could improve student achievement, help the absenteeism problem,

remediation (through the year), adjust attitudes and help the morale of teachers,&uot; Rogers said.

She said working nine weeks and taking off three gives teachers a chance to relax.

She said of the calendar: &uot;It has caught on in the state, and this little community started it. This was the first ever in Alabama. (Vincent) forged a path for others to follow.&uot;

Corbett said she remembered the panic but said a group visited College Park, Ga., to study the year-round school calendar.

&uot;Ten years later,&uot; she said, &uot;we love it. We don’t ever want to go back to the old calendar.&uot;

Smith said he remembered he had to convince everyone else to support the year-round school calendar.

Rogers said the year-round calendar was difficult to plan because the men wanted it so they could watch football and the women wanted it so they could shop. But she said it came down to &uot;what can we do for students … stop thinking about adults.&uot;

Rogers said that first year it seemed as though everything was against the year-round calendar because &uot;that was the hottest summer.&uot; But she said, &uot;Everything that was a negative became a positive.&uot;

&uot;(The year-round calendar) makes so much sense. Sometimes we don’t do things because it makes sense.

&uot;Teachers need a break and so do children. They’re not just little robots. I don’t think a long summer is needed.&uot;

She also reported that the latest survey shows 88 percent of the parents in Vincent

support the year-round calendar. And Corbett adds that 100 percent of the faculty support it.

With the year-round calendar, Corbett said test scores are going up.

Shelby County School Board member Hill said: &uot;I absolutely support it. I love it. I think there are all kinds of numbers that would work, but fall break, winter break and spring break … all you’re doing is adding one week in the fall.&uot;

Rogers also recognized Debbie Smith, assistant principal at VES at the time, and Gary Adams, principal at Vincent High School at the time, for the role they played in helping make the year-round calendar a reality in Vincent.

Karen Malone, a VES parent, said: &uot;I love the year-round school. I push it everywhere I go. I voted for it at the PTO.&uot;

Following is the 2003-04 Vincent school calendar.

Corbett points out, however, under the new calendar teachers work nine weeks and are off two.

July 4 Friday &045; Holiday (Offices Closed)

July 23 Wednesday &045; Teacher Workday

July 24 Thursday &045; Teacher Workday

July 25 Friday &045; Institute – Professional Development Day

July 28 Monday &045; First Semester Begins

Sept. 1 Monday &045; Labor Day (Schools & Offices Closed)

Sept. 29 – Oct. 10 &045; First Intersession Break

Oct. 13 Monday &045; System Professional Development (No Students)

Oct. 16 Thursday &045; System-wide Parenting Day

Nov. 11 Tuesday &045; Veteran’s Day (Schools & Offices Closed)

Nov. 26 – 28 &045; Thanksgiving Holidays (Schools & Offices Closed)

Dec. 18 Thursday &045; Winter Holidays, Schools Close at 3 p.m.

Dec. 19 Friday &045; Teacher Workday (No Students)

Dec. 22 – Jan. 6 &045; Second Intersession Break

Jan. 7 Wednesday &045;

Professional Development Day (No Students)

Jan. 8 Thursday &045; Second Semester Begins

Jan. 19 Monday &045; M.L. King Jr. Birthday (Schools & Offices Closed)

Feb. 16 Monday &045; President’s Day (Schools & Offices Closed)

March 15 – 26 &045; Third Intersession Break

April 9 Friday &045; Second Inclement Weather Day

May 7 Friday &045; First Inclement Weather Day

May 27 Thursday &045; Last Day of School/High School Graduation

May 28 Friday &045; Teacher Workday (No Students)

May 31 Monday &045; Memorial Day (Offices Closed)

TESTING DATES

July 21-25 &045; Graduation Exams

First 4 Weeks of School &045; State Assessments for K-2

Sept. 22-26 &045; Graduation Exams

Dec. 1-5 &045; Graduation Exams

Feb. 24 &045; State Writing Assessment – Grades 5 & 7

March 8-12 &045; Graduation Exams

April 2004 &045; State Norm Referenced Tests TB