Lee hopes to connect school schedule with Dougherty

LEESBURG -- After receiving input from parents and faculty, Lee County School System officials released the 2010-11 school year calendar at the monthly Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Lee County High School Ninth Grade Campus Principal Jamie Horne was in charge of the project.

Horne said people were interested in having a fall break and to end school by Memorial Day. To pull this off, the calendar will have 86 days before Christmas break and 94 days following the break.

In order to take a fall break, Horne said he took two days from the usual weeklong Thanksgiving break and moved those days to Oct. 11-12, a Monday and Tuesday. The new schedule guarantees a least one day off for each month for students, except for August and May.

"There was give and take," Horne said of the process.

Lee County board member Louis Hatcher of Palmyra District said it would be nice for the Lee County School System's schedule to be the same as the Dougherty County School System's schedule. He said Lee County's current schedule matches with Worth County.

"I just want it to be known that we want to cooperate and be flexible ourselves, but we want the same from surrounding counties," Hatcher said after the meeting. "I'm tired of people saying, 'Why don't you work with Dougherty County?' and I'm saying we're trying."

Lee County Superintendent Lawrence Walters noted that having the same schedule as Dougherty County would help parents, teachers, churches and other organizations. It would also help special need students at Oak Tree Elementary School. Walters said he received a call last week from a Dougherty County official requesting Lee County's 2010-11 schedule.

Walters also told the board that the county's Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax was down for October.

"We're in a pattern where it's up and it's down," he said.

Gary Kelley, assistant superintendent for business and financial services, said the SPLOST figure for Lee County was $266,987.80 for October. Last year, Kelley said the SPLOST averaged $305,000 monthly and this year it is averaging $292,000.

Lee County Middle School Principal Susan Manry opened up the meeting by telling the board that the school will have state officials visiting the school today and Wednesday as part of the process for it to qualify for redesignation as a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch. The school was first designated such in 2007.

After examining the school the next couple of days, Lee County officials will know if they earned the title again on Dec. 1.