Knox County director of schools recommending against balanced calendar

Dr. Jim McIntyre

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre is recommending the school system not move to a balanced calendar, saying the transition would cost too much and that there are other more important educational priorities to tend to in the next few years, including teacher compensation and personalized learning.

Previous story: Alcoa parents speak highly of balanced calendar as Knox County considers move

In a draft memo from Dr. McIntyre to the school board obtained by WATE 6 On Your Side, the superintendent explains that he feels a shift to a balanced calendar would be beneficial, allowing more frequent and longer breaks during the school year, opportunities for enrichment and intervention during the breaks and a slightly shorter summer. However, serving just 30 percent of Knox County students during those breaks would cost the school system as much as $8 million.

Web Extra: Read the draft memo [PDF]

McIntyre memo to the school board will include his recommended calendar for the 2017-18 school year, which is a traditional calendar that includes a week long fall break. McIntyre says the calendar satisfies interest in more significant breaks during the school year without adding cost.

The school board is set to vote on the calendar on July 1.

Previous story: 58 percent of Knox County parents in favor of balanced calendar

A recent survey showed more than 58 percent of Knox County parents were in favor or strongly in favor of a balanced calender school year. Over 30 percent were opposed or strongly opposed, with 11 percent responding neutral or no opinion.

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