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School board adopts 2017-2018 calendar

A new school calendar that pushes back the opening of school to early August was approved by the Grady County Board of Education Tuesday night on a 3-0 vote.
Chairman Robbie Chaplin and board members Jeff Worsham and Teresa Gee Harris voted to adopt the proposed calendar. Vice Chairman John White and board member Laura Register were absent Tuesday.
The first day of school for the 2017-2018 school year will be Friday, Aug. 4. School opened here for the current term on July 28.
The current term ends on Friday, May 19, but in 2018 the school year will conclude on Friday, May 25.
In reviewing the new calendar with school board members this week, Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard noted that the instructional staff had overwhelmingly supported adoption of a calendar that did not include any professional development days at the end of nine-week grading periods.
“We will either have to make teachers stay after school or pull them out of the classroom for staff development during the year. There are only four staff development days in the 2017-2018 calendar with two at the beginning of the year before students return and then two days after the end of school for students.
Dr. Gilliard said that he and Assistant School Superintendent Laura Elliott preferred a proposed calendar that included more staff development days built into the school year, but the majority voted for the calendar that was approved by the board Tuesday night.
The 2017-2018 calendar includes a full-week of fall break (Oct. 9-13), a full-week of Thanksgiving break (Nov. 20-24), but the Christmas break will not begin until Thursday, Dec. 21, which will be an early release day.
The Christmas break will end on Friday, Jan. 5 when teachers report back to work, but students will not return to school until Monday, Jan. 8.
Schools will also be closed for a week of spring break (April 2-6).
Teacher workdays will be Aug. 2, Aug. 3, Oct. 16, Jan. 5, March 19, and May 29.
The voting results indicated that 87 percent of the faculty and staff of the county school system who voted approved the calendar adopted by the board this week.
In other business Tuesday, the school board:
Approved the hiring of Casey Connell as a teacher at Southside Elementary School through May 24, 2017.
Accepted the resignation of the following: Vickie Davis – computer support specialist; Gerald Calhoun II – special education teacher at Eastside Elementary School; Catherine Harrell – special ed parapro at Shiver Elementary School; Mary W. Lee – parapro at Southside; and Ron Best – ISS teacher at Washington Middle School and CHS baseball/softball coach.
Approved the retirement of: Wanda Chester – instructional coordinator at Southside; Dent Ward speech therapist at Southside; Gloria Humphries – teacher at Shiver; Charles Butler – bus driver; Joy Moring – ESOL teacher at Northside Elementary School; and Fondren Gainous Jr., – teacher at WMS.
Declared equipment at Shiver Elementary School as surplus property including: three VCRs, five TVs, six rolling chairs, one file cabinet, three tape players, four maps, eight overhead projectors, and one work table.
Appointed Howard Thrower III, as the school board’s appointment to the Roddenbery Memorial Library’s board of trustees. Thrower will take the place of retiring trustee Lois Duncan.

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