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Abbreviated school day proposal on hold
by Bill Baldowski
bbaldowski@neighbornewspapers.com
September 20, 2012 04:52 PM | 1794 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The appointment last week of Luvenia Jackson as interim Clayton County Public School superintendent has lessened the outright urgency of the school board beginning the search process for another superintendent to succeed Edmond Heatley, Ed.D.

Heatley, who has served in the position since May of 2009, and played a leading role in the school district regaining full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools after losing its accreditation the year before, tendered his resignation to board chair Pam Adamson, effective Sept. 30.

Adamson emphasized Heatley was not pressured or in any way forced to step down.

However, the school system has put on hold the controversial abbreviated Wednesday school schedule which Heatley proposed.

The abbreviated school day plan would dismiss school children early on Wednesday of each week with elementary schools dismissing children an hour early while middle schools would dismiss students 75 minutes early and high schools 90 minutes early.

Heatley said the plan would then give teachers, who would still work a full day Wednesday, extra time outside the classroom for professional learning, meetings, conferences and training for the remainder of the day.

Although some Clayton school principals have offered an alternative plan in which the abbreviated Wednesday schedule would be in effect for only one Wednesday a month instead of each Wednesday, Adamson and school board member Jessie Goree said they have heard an outcry of opposition to the proposal.

“We aren’t in a rush to discuss this as we have school board elections coming up in November,” Adamson said. “Although the issue has been tabled, we are still vitally interested, and still gathering data, as to how parents feel on this issue.”

Adamson said the school board would move forward with discussions on the abbreviated Wednesday school day proposal following the elections and inauguration of any newly-elected members.

The school board seats to be decided in November include District Two, where incumbent Wanda Smith faces three challengers, and District Seven, where incumbent Trinia Garrett faces two opponents while District Five incumbent Ophelia Burroughs and District Six incumbent Mary Baker each face one opponent.

Adamson said parents have not been pleased with the abbreviated Wednesday proposal because of the hardships it would bring in regard to parents either picking their children up at school or the school bus stop with school concluding earlier than normal.
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