DeKalb unveils three possible 2012-2013 calendars, including one with Aug. 1 start date. Early release on Wednesdays.

DeKalb kids would go back to school Aug. 1 under one proposed new calendar. (AP Image)

DeKalb kids would go back to school Aug. 1 under one proposed new calendar. (AP Image)

DeKalb parents are being asked for feedback on three calendars for the upcoming school year.

All three options have schools closing an hour early each Wednesday to enable teacher planning and development.

An APS administrator kindly sent me a note that the standard metro area spring break is the first full week in April (beginning on a Sunday), so the metro systems should have the break scheduled for April 8-12. In two of these options, DeKalb would have its break a week earlier.

Option A resembles the school calendar of nearby Decatur. School starts Aug. 1 and there are week-long breaks in October and Thanksgiving and then the winter break. In the second half of the year, there are week-long breaks in February and April with school ending May 29.  The spring break is the week of April 8.

Option B starts school back on Monday, Aug. 6. There is a week off at Thanksgiving, 12 days over Christmas and  a week in April. In this scenario, spring break begins April 1, which is a week earlier than most other systems. School ends on May 24. This option has extended weekend breaks in October and February.

Option C has students returning on Aug. 13 with a week off at Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas. Spring break also begins April 1, and classes end May 29.

According to the DeKalb web site:

Per Dr. Atkinson’s request, the Division of Curriculum and Instruction has convened a group of stakeholders to explore school calendar options for next year. The Calendar Committee includes parents, teachers, principals, district office staff, and community partners. The committee has worked together to present three calendar options to the DeKalb County School District community of stakeholders. The survey is designed to gather stakeholder input that will be used to inform our decision about school calendar.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

84 comments Add your comment

SPARKY

April 10th, 2012
2:22 pm

I grew up in NY and went to school after Labor Day.

Why do Southern schools start so early??? I’ve never gotten a good answer.

I’m not a meteorologist but wouldn’t they save money starting in Sep and going through early June. Wouldn’t that make for lower power bills?

Dunwoody Mom

April 10th, 2012
2:25 pm

My biggest concern lies with these weekly “early release days”. Here is what I just sent to the DCSC BOE & Dr. Atkinson:

Dear Members of the Board of Education and Dr. Atkinson,

I have reviewed the 3 calendar options for the 2012/2013 school year. I have serious concerns with regards to the early-release days built into the calendar. As we are painfully aware, many of the students in this district are struggling academically as illustrated by test scores and the recently released abysmal graduation rate for DCSD. Can we really afford to take away precious instruction time from our school days? This is especially a concern for those schools on the 4×4 block schedule, where an entire year worth of instruction is done in one semester. Can these schools really afford to lose 4 hours of instruction time a month?

I am against any calendar option that proposes less instruction time for our students and ask that instruction hours be put back into the calendars.

Please Think!

April 10th, 2012
2:29 pm

I know people will be tempted by Calendar A because it has more days off during the year, but PLEASE consider that both Calendar A & C have students coming back after Memorial Day. Really?! We know students won’t come back for 2 days after Memorial Day. Calendar B is balanced and very similar to what we are already using. Calendar A is tempting, because of more weeks off, but why mess with what already works?

yes i am worried

April 10th, 2012
2:34 pm

I am disappointed that Dr. Atkinson is attempting to tackle this very thorny issue now. A calendar was long ago approved for the 2012-2013 school year and students and families made plans based on this calendar. Many of those plans cannot be changed.

Additionally, I share the concerns expressed above about losing instructional time on a weekly basis for staff development. I know that staff development is important. But the quality of professional development is so very poor in DeKalb that right now it is a waste of time for most teachers.

Horrible

April 10th, 2012
2:50 pm

Just stupid.

If they want to get a jump on year-end tests, why not have the state move the tests back instead of moving the school year start into the middle of summer?

The states that eat our educational lunch pretty much ALL manage to do so starting around Labor Day.

yes i am worried

April 10th, 2012
3:00 pm

The calendar that has already been approved and published is the one that needs to be implemented for next year.

catlady

April 10th, 2012
3:03 pm

Let the wailing and moaning begin! “Who is going to take care of my kids?”

Clarence

April 10th, 2012
3:13 pm

Ohmygosh whatever will they do without a solid three months of summer? Won’t someone please think of the children?

N Dekalb parent

April 10th, 2012
3:26 pm

It is irresponsible to change the calendar with this short of notice. This should not be something that we do at a whim. In general I could not really care less which calendar is chosen. However, plans have been made with the one that has been published for almost a year. My hope is that Atkinson will see reason and wait until 2013-2014 to make changes, if any are made.

Catlady – if you are a parent struggling to make ends meet – taking an extra hour off of work can mean no food on the table for one day a week. While for many it is a matter of convenience, this is not the case for many in our district. I think reducing the school week by one hour every week is a big deal and I am certain the benefit to the teachers will not be greater than the costs to the students and their families.

d

April 10th, 2012
3:28 pm

@Horrible – what does the after Labor Day start have to do with anything other than end the year in mid to late June? The summer break is the same length as an early August late May end….. I wish everyone would quit griping over the Labor Day start.

Concerned DeKalb Mom

April 10th, 2012
3:33 pm

People who bemoan the beginning of the school year being so early forget the reason behind it. It has EVERYTHING to do with avoiding high school and middle school exams occurring after the Christmas/winter break. If you start school after Labor Day, then semester exams (or End of Year tests for high school students on the 4×4 block) have to happen in January.

The bigger issues…loss of instructional time with the early release dates, and lack of continuity in class days between the two semesters. Again, high schools on the 4×4 block would have second semester courses either 4 or 6 days longer…not a big deal unless you consider that 6 days of class on the block amount to 12 days off the block. That’s a HUGE discrepancy.

Have a discussion about school calendars. But let’s be reasonable…have the discussion about 2013-14. Families–and teachers–have made plans based on the PUBLISHED and APPROVED calendar.

Dunwoody Mom

April 10th, 2012
3:34 pm

I agree that it is a little late to be suggesting changes to the 2012/2013 school calendar. It’s been in place for a year and that is what we, as parents have worked with as far as vacation planning and Dr. appointments.

Beowulf

April 10th, 2012
3:41 pm

As a DeKalb County public school parent, taxpayer, and voter, I am outraged at the indifferent, arbitrary, and arrogant manner in which DeKalb has handled this. First, the 2012-2013 calendar was approved and published months ago. Many people, including me, have made plans and paid deposits on vacations or summer camps assuming an August 13 start date. Second, most children in DeKalb County are cared for by an afterschool program or a nanny until 6pm. This will add approximately 5% to the weekly childcare budget, at a time when most people are scraping by. Third, there has been no reason supplied by DeKalb County for these proposed changes. Why couldn’t they be presented as options for 2013-2014? Since when do teachers in DeKalb County need extra meeting time? Did anyone coordinate with the off-campus aftercare programs to see if they were even available to take children an extra hour earlier on Wednesday? Many of these offsite programs are at churches and they may have already committed their space. I have already contacted the DeKalb County Central Office this morning and of course my message has been ignored. I intend to contact my Board member tonight and urge all concerned parents to do the same. At a minimum, we deserve some answers.

NY Teaching Vet

April 10th, 2012
3:41 pm

I have no connection to DeKalb, but is does seem late to be making changes to a calendar that was already published. My guess would be that families and teachers have already made Summer plans.

Tucker

April 10th, 2012
3:51 pm

The DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce should advise all businesses considering DeKalb County as a future location that families living in DeKalb County cannot make reservations for summer family vacations until late April or early May, because the DeKalb County school administrators are so inept they cannot set the school system calendar a year in advance.

jarvis

April 10th, 2012
4:06 pm

Whatever is reached, the Dekalb School System will inevitably screw it up anyway.

There will be some kind of “compromise” that will be worse than all three original options, and some relative of a Board member will end up with a contract labor guarantee of some kind.

The people will moan about the Board, but when it’s all said and done, the voter turnout in Dekalb will be in the neighborhood of 30%. Apathy is contagious there.

Parent

April 10th, 2012
4:19 pm

It would be nice if Dekalb could at least provide buses with AC and gyms with AC and schools with working AC if they want to send kids to school in the hottest month of the year.

Maybe we could have a shorter Christmas break if it is interfering with post vacation test scores. Or maybe we could move the tests.

Perplexed

April 10th, 2012
4:19 pm

Does anyone know why all metro schools do not have the same spring break this coming year? Looking around a different websites today was interesting. Several school systems (Fulton and Rockdale) have spring break the first week in April and others (Gwinnett, Cobb, Decatur City) have spring break the second week in April.

I think that the early release on Wednesdays is ridiculous. I would like to see what accountability there will be that the schools are actually implementing worthwhile staff development.

bu2

April 10th, 2012
4:24 pm

Typical DCSS. Internally focused and ignores parents and children. Thrown out with two days before their decision to limit people’s efforts to mobilize (I suspect the same thought was applied to those 2 APS schools proposed to be closed only on the last plan).

Some of the day cares have pre-school for part of the day. This Wednesday early release will conflict. Daycares have already made plans for next year as well as parents for the summer.

The one with the October week off makes no sense. They start 5 days earlier so they can take a week off in October just a few weeks before the Thanksgiving week off? And again with short notice and DCSS the only one on that plan, many parents will have to take off.

This is just gross incompetence on Atkinson’s part.

A Conservative Voice

April 10th, 2012
4:50 pm

Sparky, please, what you say makes too much sense. This is LOGIC overload for the DeKalb County School Board……

Dekalbite

April 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

No teacher should be asked teach all day and then have to sit in staff development classes. Teachers who come to these classes are brain dead and exhausted. Businesses DO NOT wait until the end of the workday to train their professional staff for just that reason. It is a waste of time and money to try to train someone who has already worked a full day.. And consider that working an even longer day for staff development adds to the stress teachers feel the next day when they have children to teach. They still have to grade those papers and make those plans and call parents, etc.

Literally tens of millions of DeKalb tax dollars a year are spent on those “trainers”, and the ROI for taxpayers is very poor because of training teachers at the end of their work day.

Do you want well trained staff or not? Parents complain that the teachers do not use technology or are not up to date on individualizing for children or do not call them back promptly (often this is because they have no time between teaching all day and then going directly to training). You can’t have it both ways.

As someone who worked almost 40 years in private industry and education and raised a child while I worked outside the home, I totally understand childcare issues. But is school childcare or education? With 30 students to a class you can’t really have both. The sole criteria for this calendar should be – will it improve the learning environment for students?

alm

April 10th, 2012
5:05 pm

It is FAR too late in the year to make major changes to the 2012-2013 board approved calendar.

I have one hour per week for training and I almost never get to use it for training. When something else comes up the training is always the first thing sacrificed. I would imagine that same thing will happen to teachers. If they really want to give teachers training time then they will need more than one hour of uninterrupted time. My kid’s old daycare closed down one day per quarter for paid teacher training. This sounds more reasonable to me. It would also be much easier to work into an already approved calendar.

alm

April 10th, 2012
5:14 pm

Don’t forget that many teachers are also parents of elementary and middle school children. How do they feel about the training time as a teacher? How do they feel about it as a parent?

Unclefast

April 10th, 2012
5:16 pm

Sparky, I’ve been asking that same question for years. I grew up in Georgia and we used to start after Labor Day. It’s nuts

Melanie

April 10th, 2012
5:58 pm

How do you measure success or failure of a change when you have so many changes at the same time. The dismal performance in DeKalb should have an extended day not a shorter day. Research does not support a balanced calendar and certainly Decatur City School can never be compared to DeKalb County Schools. Does this new administration have a clue about improving student achievement? We need a Supt. who had a tract record of Heading a large metro schools system with proven success. We missed the boat. Why is it so important to change the name of the schools from Dekalb County School System to DeKalb County School District. Do we really have time for this knid of trivia? Not much hope here!

Another comment

April 10th, 2012
6:39 pm

My children went to a Catholic school K-8 that had a early release every Wednesday at 2:00 for teacher meetings/training. No time was lost for instruction. School started at 8:00 and went until 3:00, not 7:55 until 2:15 like public school elementary school. So 4 days it went 8:00-3:00 and Wed. from 8-2:00 they just didn’t have one of the optional classes on Wednesdays. It was great, you were encouraged to make all doctors appointments etc.. on Wednesdays. No loss of an hour of learning time.

Now option A is absurd and is what the board members were voted out over in Cobb. It is extremely expensive for working parents to have all of these breaks. Starting August 1, is absurd. Also every state above North Carolina starts after the 3rd week of August by law. Florida even starts by law after the 3rd week of August so the tourist industry isn’t killed.

Nikole

April 10th, 2012
7:00 pm

Love it! Dr. Atkinson heard teachers’ requests for more time to plan, and complete the mountain of paperwork we have been asked to do. I’ll take any of the calendars since they all include the early dismissal day. By the end of the year, most parents won’t even remember what it was like before.

jarvis

April 10th, 2012
7:01 pm

@Another comment, that’s not what happened in Cobb County. As much as the broke arses on the South end of the County would have you believe that the Calendar was what decided the 2010 election, it had nothing to do with it.

Two of the three seats in the 2010 race were open as a result of retirments from the Board, and the third had a Democrat incumbent running that barely won even won her primary.

That Board just turned over…it wasn’t a public commentary on the calendar.

Sade

April 10th, 2012
7:35 pm

After the maelstrom of public opinion simmers down, I’m confident the DeKalb County School System’s PR team will spin the debacle as a “TYPO” and place the blame on the back of a lowly secretary and she’ll (secretaries are always women, right?) be demoted to teacher’s salary for a year. The proposed school calendars are for the 2013-2014 school year. As we all know there has been someone out to sabotage Dr. Atkinson from the get go and she (Dr. Atkinson) would never entertain the notion of parents and teachers having to cancel vacation plans on a whim and at the mercy of a survey whereby losing their deposits. After all we are teachers not babysitters…right?

say what?

April 10th, 2012
7:48 pm

Nikole, at a friend’s school, the principal met with them to share that this extra time will be for staff meetings and professional development, NOT phone calls and grading papers. I believe thes early release days will stop the furloughs that were being taken on teacher work days. This way the teachers will continue to do the work earlier in the week in case furlough days are scheduled on a Monday or Friday. Seems Dr. Atkinson heard everyone complaint about canceling teacher work days, loud and clear. Just as she heard the complaint that the instructional coaches needed to done away with. So they will be moved from “central office” budget, the money for the positions will be sent to local schools to include in the principal’s budget. Guess what that is not a savings to the taxpayer of DeKalb county, simply a shift of funds. Funds will still be expected from the taxpayer in the way of a tax bill.

I believe metro Spring breaks work best if leaders claim to have a best interest in their students and teachers. I can see some 5 day family emergencies of teacher’s children if their children have a different spring break than DeKalb.

Bad decision to start school in the hottest month in the year. August 1 is just as ho t and humid as July 31. But when you and your new team have never endured a GA summer, you really have no clue. And with DCSD never having working A/C only when a child passes out, and the parents sue because said child passed out as a result of being in a hot school all day, now a hot bus, then and only then will we Georgian’s doubt be believed. The kids who walk for 1.5 miles I can see some problems as well.

The Hammer

April 10th, 2012
7:55 pm

The school calendar should reflect the liturgical year:

Classes are Monday through Saturday, from 9 am until Noon.

The school year starts in late November/early December, on the first Monday of Advent.

There are two weeks off between Christmas and Epiphany.

Then, a week off that contains Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.

Spring Break would be the two weeks on both sides of Easter Sunday.

Another two to three weeks off around the Feast of St John Baptist (June 25th).

Final classes would be at the end of October, the Friday before the old Feast of Christ the King or Hallowe’en, whichever comes first.

Then, the children off the rest of November until the first Monday of Advent, starting the new school year in late November/early December.

The Deal

April 10th, 2012
8:14 pm

August 1 is unacceptable given that there is no AC on buses or in the gyms. Kids end up spending gym class in their classrooms reading because it is too hot to be in the gym or outside.

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2012
8:30 pm

@ sparky

I grew up in the south. way back in the dark ages of my youth, school started after labor day and ended with memorial day

but that was back before the days of all these stupid federally driven tests.

Homeschooler

April 10th, 2012
8:31 pm

@ The Deal. But how is August 6 or 13th really that much different? Starting in August is just stupid any way you look at it. Kids might as well just go to school year round. I get that there is concern about testing after Christmas as well as the CRCT in April (apparently nothing gets done after CRCTs) but how is it that that was the schedule for God knows how many years and the schools are now performing worse than ever. I say either go to school year round or start back in September. July and August are Summer months. May and June are spring. I am considering private school for one of mine next year and I hate the though of starting so early in August. (around the 10th)
Personally if mine have to start anytime before mid August, I’d rather them start earlier in the month and get the additional breaks but my preference would be late August start ’til first week of June.

This does sound a lot like what happened in Cobb last year. Everyone voted and one calendar was chosen and the school board changed it after everyone had vacations planned. It was quite a big deal.

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2012
8:40 pm

couple of thoughts

1- lets be honest. summer break is a leftover from a rural farming society. in Atl the vast majority won’t be tending the lower 40.

2- year round schooling is better for the kids, at least at the middle and HS levels. we spend too much time waking them up.

3- no matter what, the focus is gonna be on what’s best for Akinson and his lapdogs

4- maybe when some kid dies of heat stroke, the idiots in the supers office might get a clue. maybe, but I doubt it.

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2012
8:40 pm

couple of thoughts

1- lets be honest. summer break is a leftover from a rural farming society. in Atl the vast majority won’t be tending the lower 40.

2- year round schooling is better for the kids, at least at the middle and HS levels. we spend too much time waking them up.

3- no matter what, the focus is gonna be on what’s best for Akinson and his lapdogs

4- maybe when some kid dies of heat stroke, the idiots in the supers office might get a clue. maybe, but I doubt it.

bootney farnsworth

April 10th, 2012
8:41 pm

oops. double post -sorry

Highschool

April 10th, 2012
8:59 pm

Its about the kids not what the parents think, because can be stressful at times!

decaturparent

April 10th, 2012
9:09 pm

Aaaaahhhh…. so the wacky balanced calendar is now knocking on your door DeKalb families? We have endured this for a couple of years now and all I can say is “Welcome to H_ll!”

Brandy

April 10th, 2012
9:12 pm

Someone may know more than I, but last time I checked, the highest performing states and districts (according to NCLB) are generally those that start right before or after Labor Day. Some also go for less than 180 days. But, this is Georgia, we always do it “our own” way.

=>Wellesley, MA: Sept. 4th, 1st Day of School, June 26th, Last Day of School (June 7th for HS Seniors)
=>West Essex, NJ: Sept. 4th, 1st Day of School, June 21st, Last Day of School
=>Osseo Area Schools (Maple Grove, et al), MN: Sept. 4th, 1st Day of School, June 6th, Last Day of School
=>Highland Park ISD, Dallas, TX: Aug. 27th, 1st Day of School, May 31st, Last Day of School

These are just a few examples out of many from the “best” school districts across the US.

Someone above incorrectly stated that this week is Cobb’s Spring Break. It is not–it was last week.

whatever

April 10th, 2012
9:22 pm

Sade, this is for the 2012-2013 school year. Not for the next year. I called and requested the testing calendar two weeks ago for the 2012-2013 school year and they wouldn’t release it because they were convening a calendar committee, even though it was already board approved.

Bottom line and we all know this to be true, with all the 6,000 issues in DeKalb, why would she pick this issue to start “transforming” our schools. It makes no sense, she has not built any credibility with the parents of DeKalb on any of the other issues, fraud, waste, abuse of taxpayer $$, poor communication, bad bookkeeping on splost $$ and please let’s not forget the friends and family plan is still alive and well in DeKalb administrative offices.

Really?

April 10th, 2012
9:37 pm

I voted for Calendar A today amidst a firestorm of, “Did you see this? They want to take our summer? I ain’t coming back in July!”

Maybe I wouldn’t be so tired and need the ENTIRE month of June to sleep if I had a few breaks during the year. I believe our little children need the same and need academic enrichment througout the year.

This will always be about the grown up and not the child. Everything in DeKalb is about what the grumpy old grown up wants…. It’s never about what is right for our children.

yes i am worried

April 10th, 2012
9:42 pm

Texas and North Carolina regulate the school start date.

If we are going to use Summer differently, lets go later in June, when it overall is cooler and utility costs and pollution from buses will both be less.

Really?

April 10th, 2012
9:47 pm

I also voted for A, knowing that my vote will never amount to anything… I would imagine the early release is to help implement the new Common Core State Standards.

Second career teacher

April 10th, 2012
9:50 pm

As a teacher, I am not looking forward to early release days every Wednesday. If this is being done to help teachers, I don’t believe that it will help. I am inclined to believe that these days will be wasted. I would much rather see three 8 hour work days. I also see early release a problem for many of our families and it could be an added expense if the child is in after school care. It could possibly add $180 to the cost of after school care.

TimeOut

April 10th, 2012
9:54 pm

Correlation is not the same as ’cause and effect.’ Many of the systems that begin after labor day are the same systems whose dominant cultures set the nation’s curriculum and whose citizens enjoy quite a bit of affluence. Hence, our curriculum matches their needs quite well and they have the money to meet childrens’ basic needs ‘and then some.’

As a teacher who has experienced both types of calendars, I found that both the faculty and the students performed better overall on the balanced calendar. As a parent, it took quite a bit of planning and some extra money to manage the daycare requirements of the balanced calendar. As a taxpayer, the $$$ savings and the improved academic performance through improved teacher and student attendance on the balanced calendar more than compensated for its shortcomings. If systems adhere long-term to this option, those in the daycar profession will adapt their services to the balanced calendar. By the way, systems did not implement ‘block scheduling’ for any academic reason. Block scheduling is simply cheaper and easier to ‘manage’ for those outside of the classroom.

Brandy

April 10th, 2012
11:11 pm

@TimeOut, Interesting. I’ve had the exact opposite experience with the balanced calendar vs. traditional Southern calendars vs. more traditional calendars. I found that my students had difficulty coming back from all the mini-breaks with the balanced calendar system (more of the “break fever” spread out over the year) and I saw no real impact on absenteeism (teacher or student); however, I work in East Cobb, so perhaps my experiences are less relevant to more urban or rural student populations. I generally found the balanced calendar loved by those who could afford to take vacations (cruises, trips to Disney, et cetera) during the mini-breaks and a headache to those of us (parents AND teachers) who couldn’t. fwiw, I’ve also worked with the Southern schedule (back in early August, out by Memorial Day) and the traditional schedule (first day after labor day, out by 1st or 2nd week in June). I found little difference between student performance between the Southern schedule and the traditional schedule (a slight advantage with the traditional one, imho–just look at which schools/states use it vs. those that don’t), but I did see a (negative) difference with the balanced calendar. Caveat, of course, this was my personal experience, at one school, during only one year of the balanced calendar experiment (Cobb threw it out for this year). I would love to see it tried over a longer period of time to allow for valid statistical analysis.

re:Block scheduling…It was explained to me as a high schooler when my system moved to block scheduling that it was due to Carnegie units and that it made it easier for students to earn more credits in 4 years. Is this not correct?
fwiw, I loved block scheduling, but hated it when I moved between my Sophomore and Junior years to a school that didn’t have block scheduling. Due to a few credits earned in middle school (mathematics and foreign language) and block scheduling, I had significantly more credits than my new peers, but couldn’t graduate early because the only two courses I needed my Senior year were year long courses (government/economics and Senior English). I ended up doing Dual Enrollment instead of wasting the year with easy, peasy cake courses.

Road Scholar

April 11th, 2012
6:41 am

I went to grade school and our schedule had the beginning of school the 3rd week of September, 3 weeks off at Christmas, the std Thanksgiving 2 days off, spring break, and we finished the year on the first week of June. We had two semesters that ended/began around Christmas with 3 reporting periods for each semester. These 6 week periods were monitored and a report cards issued. If a student was having trouble, it was know and addressed each 6 weeks! Oh and we went to school from 9 to 12, 1 to 2:45, with activities from 2:45 to 3:30, and athletics from 3:45 to 4:45. The buses left at 5.

It’s the kids job; prepare them for the real world! Early release on Wednesday?!? Why? Doesn’t that screw up the parents work obligations?

yes i am worried

April 11th, 2012
7:46 am

block scheduling is actually more expensive. Most school systems across the country have dropped it. (Students take either 15-25 percent more courses on the block. Teachers have to be hired for these classed. At least in DeKalb, the goal was to help kids do credit recovery during the school year. Fail biology in 9th grade, no problem. You can take it again in 10th and still be on track to graduate. It hasn’t worked.)

MeAgain

April 11th, 2012
8:01 am

I think they start early because of football. Nobody cares about when exams are taken as long as the football, including playoffs, are done by Thanksgiving or early December.