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School calendar opinions shared
Large public input has Spotsylvania School Board still undecided on vote for 2013-14 calendar

Date published: 2/10/2013



Spotsylvania School Board members have received so many comments about the 2013-14 calendar that most are creating charts to analyze parents' and teachers' preferences.

The board is expected to decide at Monday's meeting. Five of the six members reached for comment said they were still mulling their decision at week's end.

The lone exception was Ray Lora, who said he had decided to vote for Option A, the one recommended by the division's Calendar Committee.

With the option, classes in Spotsylvania schools would start after Labor Day like most other schools in the immediate Fredericksburg area.

But Lora, like the rest of the board, said it's a tight race between Options A and C. Classes would start on Aug. 26 under Option C.

His only hesitation was that he wants to move the Jan. 3 makeup day in Option A to Jan. 27.

Under Option A, classes start Sept. 3 and end on June 13. With Option C, classes start on Aug. 26 and end on June 6.

Apart from the start and end dates, Options A and C are essentially identical.

Both offer the same two weeks off for winter break, the same week for spring break and do not require students to make up the first five days lost for bad weather.

With the contest between Options A and C so close, most board members were hedging their bets about which calendar will be selected.

Dawn Shelley, who serves on the Calendar Committee, said comments she's received are trending in one direction, and it supports her inclination, but she wouldn't say what that is.

She, like Board Chairwoman Amanda Blalock, said her vote will be determined by the majority vote from the feedback she has received.

"I'm going with what the people say," said Shelley, who has received "well over 100" emails from parents and teachers.

Blalock, who has received more than 200 emails, said she won't make her decision until shortly before the board meeting, but said Option A had nudged ahead in the feedback she'd gotten.

"I will know my vote when I leave for work Monday evening," she said.

Blalock and Lora said this issue prompted more public input than any other in their tenures on the board.

She said people see this as "their calendar" since they have been so involved in creating it.

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Two options remain in the running for the 2013-14 school calendar in Spotsylvania based on public input. The Calendar Committee recommended Option A.

OPTION A: START: Sept. 3 WINTER BREAK: Two weeks SPRING BREAK: One week END: June 13, 2014 GRADUATION: June 6 and 7, 2014 OPTION C: START: Aug. 26 WINTER BREAK: Two weeks SPRING BREAK: One week END: June 6, 2013 GRADUATION: May 30 and 31, 2014

The Spotsylvania School Board is scheduled to decide the upcoming school calendar at Monday's meeting.

The meeting will also include time for public comment on the budget for next year.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the administration building, 8020 River Stone Drive in Massaponax.