Community meetings begin for proposed balanced calendar in Knox County Schools

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FARRAGUT (WATE) – About 100 Knox County parents gathered at Farragut Middle School to learn more about a proposed Balanced Calender. This is one of many community meetings the county holds to give parents a chance to talk to school administrators and board members about their concerns.

The Balanced Calender would extend the school year for students, but would have more breaks.

Board members are considering two options.

The first would have about 45 days of instruction followed by a 10 day break. It would have a 43 day summer break.

The other option is similar, but would give a 15 day break instead. It would only have a 28 day summer vacation.

More: Knox County Schools Balanced Calender Information

“What’s the benefit to the children?,” said Barry Brown, a parent of two Knox County students.

He believes the proposal does have some positives, like more learning time, but would like to have additional information first.

“We don’t have enough data,” said Brown. “I feel like to weigh the options about what has happened with other schools that have tried these options. I’d very much like to hear from our teachers.”

Maryville and Alcoa City Schools already follow the Balanced Calender.

“This is a decision that affects the entire community. So what I as a board member want to know is what does the community think about it. What are their concerns? What do they think is a positive?,” said Knox County Schools board member Karen Carson.

She is hoping the meetings will give her an indication of where parents stand on the issue. If approved, the idea wouldn’t go into place until the 2016-2017 school year.

More: Knox County Schools Balanced Calender Sample Calender

Other community meetings are scheduled this month.

School district officials say parents should check with their child’s school to see when a meeting is scheduled.

They’re hoping to get that information on the district’s website soon.

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