School Calendar Chaos: Stay Calm


Aaron Michaels, Contributor

Huntsville City Schools shared an image of a possible state-mandated school calendar on its Facebook page on Tuesday, February 4th. According to the system’s Facebook page (click here), legislators were going to propose a plan for school calendar that gave students all of August off, removed most of the school-year vacation days, and even suggested lengthening the school day. The post also suggested high school students and faculty would not be released until 5:40 pm. The Facebook post was strong enough to stir a frenzy among parents, students, and teachers. 


This is the calendar shared on Huntsville City Schools’ Facebook page. According to Rep. Hurst, it is fabricated.

In response to the backlash, Representative Hurst took to Facebook with this comment: “The school calendar that is being passed around by Huntsville City Schools on the Internet is absolutely fabricated. We have not passed this bill as we are still working on it. Nothing in their post is true since we have not finished the bill or even introduced it.” To clarify, the potential for a state-wide calendar proposal is real, but they’re still drafting the proposal and no one, not even the legislators, have agreed upon a calendar. According to, Representative Hurst also called the late dismissal “plum asinine.”

At best, the graphic that Huntsville City Schools shared is more of a worst-case scenario, perhaps a scare tactic. The post succeeded in inciting a strong reaction at Bob Jones, and Bob Jones isn’t even in Huntsville City Schools.

Of the 53 Bob Jones students polled, not one student voted in favor of this version of the calendar combined with the longer school day. Madeline Dobbs, a junior at BJHS, explained, “The exhaustion that students already experience during the day cannot be compounded by adding two extra hours. Frankly, it’s absolutely ridiculous to think that adding part of one month back to our summer break will benefit us at all. I’m having a hard time believing that adults truly endorse this plan.” Jillian Nance brought up the point of how drastically this could affect students sleep schedules, throwing homework and extra-curricular into the mix on top of the 5:40 dismissal. “First of all, we already have so much time at school that any homework is pushed hours into the night because of extracurriculars. Half of my extracurriculars start at 4 pm, so how in the world am I going to fit in those same extracurriculars plus homework? It would make our sleep schedules even worse.”

If the school day wasn’t lengthened so drastically, would students prefer the longer summer? Mrs. Panagos, a National Board teacher at Bob Jones, said, “What is best for students and what students might want is not always in alignment. If educators believe the summer brain drain is real, why would we consider a longer summer as an option?” Representative Hurst sees the proposed calendar change as helping students become part of the workforce by giving them more time to get summer jobs. Of course, it also helps the tourism industry.

Regardless, most school systems want to maintain control of the school calendars. In his interview with, Representative Hurst said that his proposal only affects Memorial Day to Labor Day and outside of that timeframe, school systems could dictate the calendar of the school year. Again, this proposal is still in the drafting stages.

If anything else can be taken from this school calendar frenzy, perhaps it is best to remember to always check one’s sources.