From 4-day to holiday: We've got lots of news
🎄 Merry Christmas, Hornets! Athens ISD officially begins our holiday break today (Dec. 22). Students will return Wednesday, Jan. 5. We hope you all have a time of rest and restoration before turning our attention to the second half of the school year.
School board approves 4-day for next school year
🗓 During Monday night’s regular Athens ISD school board meeting, trustees unanimously approved the 2022-2023 calendar, which continues the four-day instructional week past the three-year pilot stage.
“When we began this in 2019, it was not a foregone conclusion that it would continue beyond the third school year. Our intention was always to collect data and listen to community feedback,” said AISD Superintendent Dr. Janie Sims. “Over the past few months, that’s what we’ve been working to do.”
In November, Sims hosted several community business leaders at a luncheon, during which she urged attendees to speak freely about their experiences and that of their employees in regard to the district’s schedule. The feedback was decidedly positive.
Additionally, parents and guardians had the opportunity during the second half of November to complete a four-day week opinion survey, as did all employees in a separate survey. The results on both are overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the current instructional week.
“We know it presents challenges for some of our families, and especially so for working families with young children,” said AISD Board President Eugene Buford. “We’re not discounting that reality at all. But the majority of the responses from our families tell us to keep the four-day week going. Not only that, but the main goal behind this schedule was to retain and find the best educators for our students, and our own employees are telling us it’s doing just that.”
Seventy-six percent of respondents on the parent/guardian survey agreed with the statement: “The four-day instructional week has had a mostly positive effect on my student(s) and/or family.” Eight percent said they were “undecided or unable to determine,” and 16 percent disagreed with the statement.
In another question on the survey, 65 percent of respondents agreed that “my student(s) are as successful or more successful than they would be in a traditional school week.” Eighteen percent said they were “undecided or unable to determine,” and 17 percent disagreed with the statement.
On the employee survey, 82 percent of respondents indicated they believe the overall impact of the four-day instructional week to be either very or somewhat beneficial for students. Additionally, 24 percent of respondents said they came to Athens ISD because of the work week, with another 53 percent indicating it plays a part in their decision to stay at AISD.
A beautiful manger scene
👑👑👑 Our little video showing how Athens High School construction students worked with other community organizations to revive the courthouse Nativity scene went modestly viral on Facebook, reaching over 14,500 viewers. Athens ISD is very proud to take part in community projects. If you haven’t already seen it, click below to enjoy the video.
Athens Middle School students explore AHS career & tech classes
👨🏭 🔨🩺 ⚙️🐄📹 Athens Middle School eighth-graders recently spent time at the high school in order to learn more about the choices they will have for taking CTE (career and tech) classes at AHS next year. Parents of eighth-graders will be receiving information on course selection in January. Kyler Clampitt is shown above learning how to give CPR during his visit to the health science department on the tour.
Central Athens Elementary will be collecting coats
🧥 We all remember how cold last winter was. With that in mind, Central Athens will begin collecting coats in January, when we return from our holiday break. Anyone can donate new or gently used, clean coats and jackets of any size to the collection box that will be located in the front entrance of the campus (307 Madole Street). Help us keep others warm!
Bel Air Elementary welcomed ‘The Book Whisperer’
📚 Award-winning author and teacher Donalyn Miller paid a visit this month to Bel Air, where she spoke with teachers about how to turn even the most reluctant students into avid readers. The author of several books, Miller's first was "The Book Whisperer," in which she reflects on her journey as a reading teacher who motivated her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year.
Students read to students at South Athens Elementary
📖 One of the best ways to convince students reading is “cool,” is to have older students read to younger ones. That’s what happened this week when several fourth- and fifth-graders read to kindergarten students. We love it!