A mid-August start date was chosen for the 2007-08 school year by the Columbia County School Board, following the lead of the results in a recent survey, at a Tuesday meeting.
Held Feb. 12-26, primarily through an online poll with paper copies available at schools, the survey offered a choice of three different start dates - Aug. 23, Aug. 15 and Aug. 6. School officials unveiled the results of the countywide survey at the board meeting.
Most of the 5,084 survey respondents chose Calendar B, which has an Aug. 15 start date.
An Aug. 6 start date, as advocated in Calendar C, was the second-most popular choice.
About 2,000 of those surveyed chose Calender B, for 37.9 percent of the total vote. Calendar C, which most resembles the current school calendar, garnered 36.7 percent. Calendar A, which featured the latest start date, got 25.5 percent.
In separate survey questions, those picking either Calendars B or C cited the final exam schedule as the primary reason for their choice, according to survey data. Both calendars allow students to finish first-semester exams before Christmas vacation.
Board members sided with the majority and tentatively approved Calendar B.
"I think that middle date is a nice compromise," member Regina Buccafusco said. "It can be just for that year, to see how it works."
If the board gives final approval to Calendar B at its next board meeting in Appling on March 28, then 2007 will be the first time Columbia County schools begin later than Aug. 9 since 2000.
Also at the meeting:
- The board approved a resolution to deed ownership of the seven pillars and arch at Evans Middle School to the Columbia County Commission. In a county Public Works Committee meeting Monday, commissioners approved a plan to place the stone structures around a pond behind the new Evans library.
- In a 4-1 vote, the board approved allowing an abstinence-based sex education speaker to conduct lectures in all of the county's middle and high schools in April. Buccafusco, the lone dissenter on the board, called the program "crass," but Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan urged the board to approve the speaker.
"Abstinence is a hard sell," Flanagan said.
- A recent survey of high-school students prompted the board to examine adding classrooms to some schools.
Lakeside and Greenbrier high schools might get automotive and cosmetology labs, Harlem High might get a health sciences class and Evans High might get a cosmetology lab.
A plan to include those classrooms might be developed in the next two months.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.