Article Comment 

CMSD seeks input on year-round school


Kristin Mamrack



Columbus Municipal School District officials are gathering input from parents and teachers on a new 11-month school calendar, proposed by CMSD Superintendent Dr. Del Phillips. 


Noting consistently attending school helps students better retain what they learn and enables teachers to work an extended time with smaller groups of students, Phillips, in March, proposed an 11-month school calendar, to begin in August, for students in grades kindergarten through six. 


Through surveys administered at parent-teacher conferences last week, school officials received support for the new calendar and Phillips will meet with school principals and parents regarding the proposed calendar. 


"We are continuing to listen to parents and teachers and provide as much information as possible about the Success calendar," Phillips said. "Our principals surveyed parents, last week, that attended parent-teacher conference day to gather some quantitative data. 


"In the next three weeks, we will have some parent meetings at the elementary (schools) to answer questions and gather more feedback. I will also speak to the teachers at each elementary (school) within the next two weeks to determine a commitment level within each (school)." 


Phillips likely will make a recommendation to the CMSD board of trustees during their May 11 board meeting. 


Regarding the new calendar, Phillips proposed students attend regular classes for 181 days of the year and 22 days be designated as "Success Academy" days, when students testing at minimum or basic proficiency levels are required to attend for "small, concentrated" classes for "intense remediation." 


Students testing at proficient or advanced levels would not be required to attend school on the Success Academy days, but enrichment programs and activities, often expanding on the CMSD Magnet School themes, would be available for those who did attend. 


Following the new calendar, which Phillips said would save parents on daycare costs, means teachers and students are off the entire month of July. 


Under the proposal, teachers working additional days would be paid by stipend. 


Parent meetings will be held April 20 at 6 p.m. at Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School, April 21 at 8 a.m. at Fairview Elementary Aerospace and Science Magnet School, April 21 at 12:30 p.m. at Franklin Elementary Medical Sciences and Wellness Magnet School and April 30 at 6 p.m. at Cook Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment teacher commented at 4/17/2009 2:03:00 PM:

Many people complain that schools do not do enough and students are not as advanced academically as they should be. The Success Calendar is an attempt for schools to do more. Now, the 22 days extra is TOO MUCH school. Make up your minds. The students who do well will not be adversely impacted by the extra days. The students who aren't doing well need something more anyway. Will everyone be happy when all the schools in Columbus are level 1? Spend a day in a classroom before you pass judgement. By the way, I'm also a parent of two children in the system.


Article Comment A.K. commented at 4/17/2009 3:00:00 PM:

A year round school is an excellent idea, not only will this help the children of the community to be provided with better education but this should help students that require more time to learn. This will also help for dual working families that have to find care for their children. Two weeks out of the year during the summer if good enough. While living in Japan I did notice that the children there were more advanced and they created a passion to learn, especially since they were able to keep up. This could also help for the economy crisis because it is providing jobs for teachers if the board votes on a higher salary. In my opinion this should be from High School to Sure(Head) Start. College students should keep their regular school schedule. This can give them a chance to assist teachers (with pay) and get volunteer hours, Also, substitution for weeks at a time can give teachers their time to take a vacation. 58% of students in MS cannot pass a military ASVAB, which is basic High School education level exam, which means they should recieve more and better education. Teachers do not care like they did 13 years or more ago.


Article Comment Columbus Parent commented at 4/17/2009 3:26:00 PM:

We come around again to the reality that Columubus AND Lowndes County public AND private schools are inadequate to sustain a growing area offering technologically advanced jobs in the future.

Thank goodness we now have a CMSD leader who is willing to take some heat while pushing the school system toward a level of excellence not attained previously...


Article Comment funny commented at 4/17/2009 3:35:00 PM:

A.K. said Teachers do not care like they did 13 years or more ago, so his solution is to keep the kids in school for an extra month. lol

Has anyone thought about the fact that a few months ago magnet schools were suppose to be "THE" solution. Now everyone is complaining about not having enough time. Is it possible that the first "solution" is what has caused this problem?

Also, why are all of these schools complaining about budget cuts and then bringing up million dollar ideas?


Article Comment Lori commented at 4/17/2009 3:49:00 PM:

Let me clarify one comment. Students who are succeeding in school will NOT have any required days added to their school year. Let me repeat. If your child is performing up to grade level, he or she will NOT have days added to his/her school year. They will have the same number of vacation days, they will just be spread out a little in the year rather than all being in the summer.

Personally, I LOVE the idea of taking a family vacation for a week or two in the fall rather than in the hot, crowded summer.

The extra calendar days will be OPTIONAL for all student who are performing at grade level.


Article Comment goingbroke commented at 4/17/2009 7:31:00 PM:

Exactly how is this longer school year going to be paid for? Do the taxpayers get a say so? My tax bill went up almost 40% last year from the new property appraisals and the new middle school bond. I cannot afford for it to go any higher. I am sure that many of those who have no children or do not use the public school systems may not want to fund this in addition to the new middle school right now. Will this be presented as a bond issue for all to vote for, or simply for the teachers and school board to decide on for all of us?


Article Comment parent commented at 4/17/2009 8:11:00 PM:

Students cannot be sucessful until they have the support and HELP of their partents. Until parents put actions behind their words of how important education is, students will not put forth their best and be sucessful in school. This plan is great for parents who are looking for daycare while they work. It once again takes the responsibility from the parent and places it on others, namely teachers.
Teachers do care as much or more than they ever did. Drive by any school in the afternoon and you will see teachers still working late into the evening. Be glad teachers are not paid hourly, the state would really go broke. Teachers cannot complete all tasks required by the state and the district much less the "extras" that caring teachers do in 40 hours per week.
Students in Japan are taught by their parents from a very young age the impotance of an education and a very strong work ethic. Many American children are not taught the same work ethic at any age. There lies the biggest diference.


Article Comment A.B. commented at 4/17/2009 8:16:00 PM:

Don't be fooled!! Teachers and Parents have no say in whether or not an 11 month school calendar will be adopted. Phillips has recomended it and the school board will do whatever he wants.


Article Comment TAXPAYER commented at 4/18/2009 11:50:00 PM:






Article Comment TAXPAYER commented at 4/18/2009 11:50:00 PM:






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