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Schools approve calendar

Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 9:23 PM

The Wilson County Board of Education met Monday where it approved a calendar for the next school year, though it was not the proposed calendar on the agenda.

An appointed calendar committee made up of teachers, administrators and board member Wayne McNeese proposed the calendar on the agenda.

This calendar had students out of school on election days, as well as added two days off to Thanksgiving break, which would give a full week off for that holiday, and essentially provide two weeks out for fall break, just not consecutively.

McNeese said previously the proposed calendar was not his first choice, but he “wouldn’t sabotage it.”

At Monday’s meeting, displeased parents lined up to voice their concerns on the calendar issue.

Lisa Patterson urged the board to vote no on the calendar. She said the proposed calendar didn’t represent what the majority of students, parents and teachers wanted.

Patterson said she believed two weeks for fall break and one week for spring break was needed to give everyone an opportunity to recharge.

When the calendar came up for approval to the board, it failed to garner a motion and wasn't approved.

McNeese then submitted his own proposed calendar for the board’s consideration.

According to McNeese's calendar, there would be two weeks off for fall break, the weeks of Oct. 6 and Oct. 13, and one week off for spring break, March 9-13. Students would still be out of school on election days and the last day for students would be May 28. Thanksgiving holiday would be two days, Nov. 27-28.

Board member Larry Tomlinson said he wished to have more time to look at McNeese’s proposal, and he wanted to thank the calendar committee for its time and effort put forth.

“I just want to get to the bottom of this,” Tomlinson said.

Board member Ron Britt then said the board could look at resurveying parents and teachers in order to get a better idea of what everyone really wanted.

“Regardless of what we do someone isn’t going to be happy,” Tomlinson said. “It’s going to get to the point where no one wants to serve on the calendar committee if we keep jacking them around like this.”

Board chairman Don Weathers said he felt like the board was in a “catch 22.”

“The focus should be on learning. In the future we need to create learning goals and then build a calendar around that,” Weathers said. “I’ll give two weeks for fall break this year as a transition year, but I can’t do that in the future. We’ve got a lot of learning to do.”

McNeese then pointed out all his calendar proposed was for the coming year, so he felt it was pointless to do another survey or defer the issue any longer.

The board then voted on McNeese’s proposed calendar, which passed on a 4-1 vote with Tomlinson the lone dissenter.

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