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Logistical questions

Apr. 20, 2013 @ 10:05 PM

Here are impressions from school officials and community members in Nashville and Wilson County, Tenn., regarding how use of a balanced calendar with a shorter summer and spring and fall breaks has affected various practical matters there.

ATHLETICS: How has the balanced calendar impacted athletics, particularly fall sports?

Joe Bass, the communications specialist for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools: "It was something that came up, but no hiccups with it."

Jeff Luttrell, principal at Watertown High School, Wilson County: "We will not schedule home football games during that break. Coaches will adjust practice times. Our school was just in the state basketball tournament during (spring intersession)."

COSTS: Were additional funding needed? How was it used?

Budget neutral in Nashville, with no funds allocated to put air conditioning in all buses.

Neutral budget meant limited transportation and mostly half-day programs for intersession in Nashville; only remedial programs in Wilson County.

ACADEMIC CAMPS: Can students still attend statewide camps that conflict with the balanced calendar?

Luttrell said they excuse students who are selected to attend Boys or Girls State.

CHILD CARE: How did child care adjust?

Sandra Yarnall, director of Julia Green Extended Care, said that daycare provider typically offers after-school care only, except during breaks and in the summer.

Biggest problem is finding college students who can work during the extra week in the fall and spring.

Lost two weeks of business in August, but additional weeks during school year make up for lost revenue.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS: Did community organizations object to the calendar change?

Statement from the YMCA of Middle Tennessee when the school system in Nashville was contemplating a calendar change.

"For more than 26 years, the YMCA of Middle Tennessee has partnered with Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide quality before- , after- and out-of school care designed to foster a love of learning and nurture the potential of every child. We know that out of school hours are critical and can have an incredible impact on a child's development.

"That's why we're committed to offering kids in our community the chance to take part in YMCA Fun Company programs whenever school isn't in session. We structure our Fun Company calendar to accommodate the school system's calendar, and will continue to do so should MNPS adopt a balanced calendar at anytime in the future. We would simply alter our schedule to ensure that quality care is available during any and all out-of-school hours."