Mitchell-Scarlett balanced calendar to be reconsidered for 2013-14

Plans continue for partnership with U-M School of Education

From AAPSNews Service

The Ann Arbor Public Schools is moving ahead with plans for a K-8 partnership between Mitchell Elementary, Scarlett Middle School and the University of Michigan School of Education this fall, but will wait and reconsider a balanced calendar for the 2013-14 school year.

The decision was made after a parent opinion survey was conducted asking about such a calendar, which would be a nontraditional school year with extended breaks and a shortened summer break.

The committee surveyed parents at Scarlett and feeder elementary schools of Mitchell, Allen, Carpenter and Pittsfield. The survey was available online, in printed format and was also translated into Spanish. A total of 360 persons responded to the survey.

“It is with some measure of disappointment that we arrive at this recommendation but all involved feel it is the most responsible position to take at this time,” Interim Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelley said.

She said the decision will not stop the partnership from moving forward with enrichments and other instructional innovations in place and planned for next fall.

The decision was made in order to put a system in place for measuring and evaluating teacher performance in the program and to introduce enrichment intersessions for students during school breaks. A number of enrichment activities are planned for the inaugural 2011 school year for interested families.

It remains the committee’s desire to see a balanced calendar implemented in the future.

Most Mitchell and Scarlett respondents said they would stay if a balanced calendar was implemented, but other feeder elementary respondents said, as a whole, they would not want to stay because of family scheduling conflicts. Feeder elementary respondents also said they did not want to participate in pilot intersession enrichments as they are offered in 2011-12.

Committee members said was clear from the responses that there must be choices for parents who would not participate in a school program with a balanced calendar in the future, including a way to opt out.

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