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Gainesville City Schools board OKs full calendar for 2014-15
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Former Gainesville High School Principal Curtis Segars made a donation of $3,000 to Gainesville City Schools at the Monday school board work session for handrails to be installed at City Park Stadium.

“I can go up the steps but coming down, it’s kind of like going down Green Street next to an 18-wheeler,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable.”

Handrails have been planned to be placed at the stadium for some time; they will be placed intermittently along the aisles for those who need assistance.

“Really and truly, this is something that we desperately need,” Segars added. “A lot of my friends don’t come anymore simply because old people fear falling down so this is going to be a tremendous boost.”

Board members later approved the request to install the handrails.

Carly Sharec

Gainesville City Schools students officially have a full school year, while teachers are back to a complete 190-day contract.

“We are recommending it gleefully,” Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said. “We are just so excited to have a full year.”

The decision about the 2014-15 school year was made at the Monday work session of the school board.

Board members had reviewed a proposed calendar with seven furlough days in January, but information coming from Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed state budget, adding an extra $547 million in education spending, should allow for a full restoration of class days.

For students, the school year begins Aug. 7 with the final day scheduled for May 21, 2015. There’s at least one day off every month, with most slated for teachers as professional learning days.

The Hall County School District has also approved a full calendar year; Hall’s school year begins Aug. 8 and will run through May 22.

“This is a great calendar,” Chairwoman Maria Calkins said. “The schools and the teachers have asked for that one day of professional learning each month, and now we’ve been able to keep to that.”

Combined with that for teachers who will receive their full salaries, board members discussed a change in local salary supplements. The proposal on the table is, rather than make the annual supplement a percentage of the total salary, turn it into a flat rate and allow extra for teachers with special certifications, like those endorsed to teach English language learners, gifted students or special education students.

A decision on supplementation won’t be made until a later board meeting.

Gainesville City Schools 2014-15 calendar