Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) has released a revised 2014-15 school calendar that calls for the district to return to school on Tuesday, August 5 - one day earlier than originally scheduled. The change in the calendar is due to the need for a student/teacher holiday on November 4, which is Election Day. This day was originally slated to be a school day; however, as this year’s election includes several major races, including contests for Governor and a vacated U.S. Senate seat, election traffic is likely to be high.
Associate Superintendent for School Improvement and Operations Dr. Kevin Tashlein explains the change saying, “As many of our schools serve as polling sites, we felt this change was in order for a number of reasons.
Clearly, safety is a concern when you have large numbers of people entering and exiting a school during school hours. The additional traffic associated with large numbers of voters can create congestion that can affect bus routes and car rider lanes as parking is limited at schools.”
In looking at the school calendar and the need for schools to be out of session on Election Day in November, district leaders felt it important to announce the new start date as early as possible. Dr. Tashlein added, “In addition to keeping the number of days in each semester balanced, we realized that many families already may have made plans for the announced Thanksgiving and Winter breaks. This made moving the starting day back one day the best answer to this calendar challenge.”
With the change to the calendar, Gwinnett County Public Schools will start the school year on Tuesday, August 5. The new start date will affect teachers’ schedules in that teachers will now report for pre-planning on July 29 instead of July 30.
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