The Cobb County School District has a plan in the works to set the next calendar, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa told a town-hall meeting Tuesday night in Kennesaw.
Hinojosa said he intends to form a calendar committee in August and seek community input before bringing a proposal to the Board of Education for the 2013-14 school year.
The school board voted 4-3 in February to switch from a balanced calendar starting Aug. 1 to a more traditional calendar starting Aug. 15 this school year. It’s an ongoing controversy Hinojosa inherited when he was sworn in as the system’s superintendent in July.
The previous administration under Superintendent Fred Sanderson did not take sides on the calendar, but Hinojosa said he will make a recommendation after the calendar committee does its work and the district gathers public comment.
A woman at the Legacy Park Education Committee meeting at the Legacy Park Clubhouse questioned Hinojosa about the community input. She said the board ignored that input, including an unscientific SurveyMonkey online poll, when it dumped the balanced calendar in February.
A man then asked the superintendent not to overstate the importance of a particular school calendar.
“It’s what we do in the calendar, that’s the important thing,” Hinojosa said.
He also urged audience members to be more skeptical about the cause and effect behind statistics such as test scores and attendance rates “because very few things are causal.”
The calendar controversy led to criticism about the school system’s public communication, an area Hinojosa has made a priority.
“If you communicate with the community and let us know what’s happening, you’ll get more support,” audience member Amy Ryan said toward the end of the question-and-answer session.
“One thing I told the board, I’m going to take the good, the bad and the ugly,” he said. “And if you tell people only the good stuff, they’re not going to trust you. This helps me to know what’s going on.”
Another woman replied, “The board could tell us more of what’s going on.”
“I can only control what I can do,” Hinojosa said, “and maybe if I model it, they will do it too.”