To better prepare our students to be successful critical thinkers, we are shifting our schedule of classes this month by extending Thanksgiving break for all students. I am informing you now so that you have time to make adjustments to your family schedules.

Classes will now conclude on Nov. 19 and resume on Nov. 29, adding two days to Thanksgiving break. Students will not report to school on Nov. 22 or 23. This may seem counterintuitive when we understand that reducing the number of days of instruction with students may have a negative impact on learning, but we have to be able to capitalize on our resources during instruction time. By reserving two of those student break days for in-service, we invest in our greatest resources to facilitate your students’ success, our staff.

On Nov. 22-23, our staff will collaborate and plan in their Teacher-Based Teams and learn alongside in-building supports on how to enhance their delivery of instruction. They have communicated their need for more time to work together, to plan together and to learn from each other. We have heard them as they’ve juggled schedule adjustments, a lack of substitutes, new instructional tools and a massive shift in our math curriculum. 

It has never been more critical for our staff to work together. One of the greatest benefits of our district consolidation is that our staff now have that option to share. But to effectively implement our new instructional strategies and curriculum, we need time together.

We are asking our staff to do more than they have ever done before, all while in the midst of a pandemic, and it is incredibly important that we give them the time to deliver on these expectations. 

Our staff will spend these days collaborating and planning so that we will be ready to tackle all that is new in our district. I appreciate your understanding of this mid-year change and hope that you are able to extend your time with your children and family over Thanksgiving break.  We appreciate your patience and support of our district as we work through the many challenges of consolidation and a pandemic. This change is only being made in the best interests of our students and staff.

Thank you for your support.

Will Hampton

Superintendent, Marietta City Schools