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Calendar creates confusion with DeKalb school teachers, staff

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Calendar creates confusion with DeKalb school teachers, staff

DeKalb County School District Administration and Instructional Complex on Mtn. Industrial Blvd. in Stone Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in The District, an exclusive newsletter for Decaturish subscribers. To become a subscriber, visit supportyourlocalnews.com 

By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor 

DeKalb County, GA —  DeKalb County School District regrets the confusion caused by approving an incorrect teacher workday calendar, a spokesperson said last week.

DCSD board of education approved the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school year calendars for teachers and staff members in December 2021. The student calendar was correct, but teachers found a mistake in their workday calendar. It was too short.

The 190-day contract employees were only scheduled for 188 days, “which unfortunately would have caused two days of lost wages,” according to the district.

School board members voted to approve two calendars for 188 workdays, but DCSD teachers are required to work 190 days. Two days that staff preferred as teacher workdays – one in October and one in February – had to be added back to the workday calendars.

DCSD said it was a mistake.

“The DCSD sincerely regrets the errors and any negative impacts they may have caused our valued certified staff,” said Donald B. Porter, the district’s spokesperson.

BOE member Allyson Gevertz posted about the error on social media.

“Since the preferred option for each calendar year did not impact the start date and end date for teachers and students, a calendar amendment did not require the Board of Education’s approval,” Gevertz wrote on her Facebook page.

Gevertz said she was alerted by a teacher that there was an issue in late July. She asked Interim Superintendent Dr. Vasanne Tinsley and the BOE attorney to look into it.

“Many people, myself included, bear responsibility for the mistake. Clearly, we did not count the 190 days. The calendar committee didn’t catch it,” Gevertz said.

The corrected calendar provides for 180 days of student instruction, 190 days of teacher-contract days including one evening workday, and professional development days before the start of school and throughout the year.

All students and teachers get school breaks including Thanksgiving, winter break and spring break.

“Many of you have shared that you accept that mistakes happen, but are upset by a lack of remorse. I know how hard you work. I know you could teach in other districts, other cities, and other states. I know you are underpaid and undervalued by our state and society at large,” Gevertz wrote. “Please stay with DCSD. Our students need you. You are the number one factor determining student success, which is our District’s mission. We can’t do it without you. I offer my deepest apologies for not treating you with the respect you deserve.”

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