'Issues for working parents' - Reaction to proposed Hamilton Co school calendar changes

Hamilton County school officials are considering possible changes to the school calendar, and parents have mixed reactions. (Image: WTVC)

Parents are reacting to proposed school calendar changes in Hamilton County.

A volunteer committee made up of 24 teachers, parents and community members met to come up with the plan. The plans calls for Thanksgiving break to be a full week off, while still keeping fall break.

Stephanie Moore commented on our Facebook page "They already have too much time off... it created issues for working parents."

Autumn Brook Peabody commented "No fall break, no longer Thanksgiving, longer summer... My 15-year-old at East Hamilton says that's what she'd like and I agree."

The committee shared its proposal to school board members Thursday. Board member Rhonda Thurman is not a fan.

"We have to consider parents in this and we're not," Thurman said. "I've never voted for a calendar because we've always done stuff like this and this is the worst one I've seen yet, it's getting worse instead of better."

The plan would take away President's Day as a day off for students.

"If we were in school they would learn more about presidents than when we were off? We don't say the same thing about MLK Day, we don't say the same thing about any other day so why are we saying it about President's Day," Thurman said.

She says she doesn't think the extended breaks in the fall sit well with teachers.

"That's the worst nightmare they have, starting and stopping. That's the worst nightmare they have."

Mom and former school employee Holly Cox was on the volunteer committee.

"I don't see the nightmare, it's not really that different than we've had in the past."

Holly says they considered a lot of things, including state testing requirements, parent schedules and the diverse population in the county.

"There are a lot of working moms and dads in our community who don't have the luxury of a family member to pick up the slack on days off, or they don't take fall vacations," Cox said. "You can't please everybody and everything has to be a compromise." Cox said.

She encourages parents to take part in a survey sent out Friday by school officials.

"Hopefully the best thing parents can do is speak up on the survey because I do really believe that the administration is listening to the community."

Stay-at-home mom Maryia Ananka says her children do well with the breaks and she likes the proposed changes.

"Kids get stressed too like adults and they need time off, the longer the holidays are the better for them," Ananka said.

Another parent we heard from says she would like the breaks to match up with local colleges, calling it a "community friendly" option.

School board members we talked to say they are considering all options and would like to hear more from parents before voting.

They meet again February 15. No date has been set to vote on the calendar.

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