Students in Metro Nashville Public Schools may have to spend more time in the classroom next year, but a decision on a new school calendar will have to wait.
Schools Director Dr. Jesse Register is urging the school board to add five more days to the district's calendar, and the board discussed proposals for the district's 2014-2015 school year calendar at its meeting Tuesday.
Currently, the district operates on a so-called "balanced calendar," which starts in early August, ends in late May and features two-week spring and fall breaks.
Register, however, favors a plan to cut breaks to one week and add five more days of classroom instruction.
One problem with the proposal is the cost, which is estimated around $17 million.
Six of Nashville's schools are already using the longer calendar, but it's being funded by a three-year federal grant.
The board could also vote to shift to a more traditional calendar, in which students would start later in August.
The district polled parents, staff and teachers by phone Monday night, and the results were reportedly split.
One grandfather said Tuesday the calendar change might help if part of a bigger picture.
"I think it's possible, but I think it's all based on leadership. How strong are all of our leaders? If the principals have the way to keep everybody on track and keep the teachers in line, the students will follow and everybody will learn," said grandfather James Baker.
The district also asked for feedback on the calendar issue by e-mail, and it received about 250 replies that again were pretty much split right down the middle.
Ultimately, board members decided to defer a vote to a future meeting.
Register even brought up a fourth option at Tuesday's meeting that would have removed the fall intersession.
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