Anchorage School Board debates school calendar

October 2, 2018 by  

The Anchorage School Board recently debated whether or not to approve changes to the 2019-2020 school calendar.

Proposals were made to make the Thanksgiving break three days longer, and start school three days earlier. The board split into a 3-3 tie.

At the meeting, calendars for the upcoming three years were discussed by a calendar committee comprising community members, staff, and administrators. The calendars were the same as they have been for the last twelve years, except for the proposed chances. Officials considering measures like this could use flyer printing to provide information to district residents.

Presently, the Thanksgiving holiday is a two-day break, and it has been noted that absenteeism among both students and staff members increases that week. During the school year just past, student absenteeism averaged 6.7% each day. On the Monday just before Thanksgiving, the rate rose to 7.9%, on the Tuesday it was 8.3%, and the Wednesday just before the holiday the rate went to 10.3%. Teachers as well were absent, with a 10.3% absenteeism rate as compared to an average of 6.3% overall.

The board will consider this and other measures at its October 8 meeting. One board member, Alisha Hilde, said it really did not matter how they voted, because somebody was sure to be unhappy. With that in mind, she said, the board should do what is best for the students.