Columbia County school schedule

The voting is now over for parents in Columbia County to choose the new school calendar date.

Saturday, parents had the opportunity to address any questions about the survey with board members at Harlem High School.

Since the death of 14-year-old Lakeside High Student Chelsea Collins back in August, dozens of parents have asked the board to re-examine the county's school calendar--so they did, and now they're wondering why many of those same people didn't show up.

Three parents came out for the Columbia County Board of Education’s forum on the school calendar survey, a far cry from the numbers CCBOE expected to see.

For the few parents who did show, like Cherie Portinga, it was an opportunity to talk to board members one-on-one. “Here there's two-way conversation you don't get at school board meetings.”

But that's not why they were here.

It was the early start date of August 3 this past school year that brought both parents and educators alike to the forum.

On our online web poll we asked you which date you preferred and 61 percent chose the latest calendar date of August 23rd.

One parent agrees: “We're spending excessive money to air condition buildings that don't need to be to the degree they are in June when it' s not that hot.”

While others in the school system argue: the sooner the better.

“To me that's a great time to maximize learning, if you weren't in school they'd be in the house watching TV, or playing video games, we can maximize instructional time and get ahead.”

“With that calendar, they will miss six weeks of valuable class time before they take the exam.”

Board member Roxanne Whittaker says simply pushing back the start date isn't as easy it sounds.

“There are some serious ramifications as far as test dates required by state.”


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