Andy True


KINGSPORT — The city’s school board on Tuesday night got its first look at a 2021-22 draft calendar, one that Assistant Superintendent of Administration Andy True said closely resembles the 2020-21 calendar.

The draft plan has school starting for students on Monday, Aug. 2, with a traditional fall break, holiday break, spring break and other student days off for teacher inservice. The last day of school would be a half-day on May 19, with high school graduation tentatively set for May 21.

True said the plan is for the board and staff to review the draft further, and then the board, which has a work session Sept. 24, would consider setting the calendar at its Oct. 6 regular meeting.

Board Vice President Julie Byers suggested during Tuesday’s meeting consideration of making a longer fall break by moving an inservice day from Oct. 22 to Oct. 18, piggybacking on the fall break of Oct. 11-15 by adding the following Monday to the time off for students.

Superintendent Jeff Moor- house said that could be considered, but the reason for the Oct. 22 date is that is proposed to be a regional professional development day provided for Northeast Tennessee school systems by the Niswonger Foundation in Greeneville.

He said that will be a valuable time because all Northeast Tennessee school systems are to use the same testing benchmark measuring service.

Board member Todd Golden asked a similar question about moving an inservice date from March 14 to Friday, March 25, to piggyback on the spring break, March 28-31.

Again, Moorhouse said that could be considered. However, he said school leaders believe that staff professional development or inservice days added to the spring break would be an incentive for teachers to take a personal day to extend vacations with their families, losing participation in professional development.

The proposed calendar would have 178 instructional days, the holiday break Dec. 20-24 and Dec. 27-31, with three full weekends.

During the voting part of the meeting, the board voted 5-0 to correct a July 14 vote that extended Moorhouse’s contract to March 31, 2025, although Tennessee law would allow an extension to no later than March 31, 2024, or four years. The vote Tuesday night changed the date to 2024.

In addition, the board learned that the fall district meeting of the Tennessee School Boards Association will be held virtually at 5 p.m. on Sept. 14.