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Schools thankful for week off

By Michael Butler

Tallassee City Schools are closed this week for Thanksgiving, a blessing in tis own right for students and teachers. Superintendent Wade Shipman is one of those 12-month employees who will be at his office for a portion of the holiday week.

"We have some 12-month employees that work some extra days and don't get all the holidays off," Shipman said. "So, we'll have some people in-house still working."

The school calendar has changed over the years from a few days off to a full week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"We're working on next year's calendar now. We try to consider what the community wants. Thanksgiving is a time, just like Christmas, when a lot of people will travel. Having that extra time is good for a lot of families to get back and forth."

Shipman has family in Fayette and will be heading out of town for the latter part of the week.

"We'll gather at my my mother-in-law's place on Thanksgiving."

The scheduling flexibility is somewhat limited when it comes to taking extra long breaks in fulfilling the state's required classroom time during the school year.

"They used to have a 180-day limit in terms of the number of days we needed to have for student days," Shipman said. "On top of that, there are seven in-service days that nine-month faculty need to work as well."

In recent years, the regulations have been relaxed slightly.

"We can use the equivalent of minutes in a day in calculating those 180 days," Shipman pointed out. "For example, a typical day is 360 minutes of instructional time. If we have a calendar with less than 180 days, we just have to make sure we have the instructional minutes that we would normally have in that 180-day calendar. We actually have a 176-day calendar."

Classes will be back in session on Nov. 28. The Christmas vacation period for Tallassee students will be from Dec. 19 - Jan. 4.

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