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Board to choose between 2 school calendars

Posted: January 10, 2013 - 1:09am

The Juneau School District board heard the first reading of a proposed calendar for the 2013-14 academic years at its meeting Tuesday night.

Phil Bedford, Director of Human Resources, presented two calendar options to the board: Option 1 and the amended Option 2A. He said 2A is the preferred.

Bedford said JSD Calendar Committee members met multiple times in person and remotely to build calendar options while taking input from parents, staff and the public. Members include Allie Smith, Chris Heidemann, Molly Hillis, Linda Thompson, Scott Naegle, Tom Milliron and Phil Bedford.

Bedford said the preferred 2014 calendar is similar to the calendar currently being used.

“With a few minor tweaks,” Bedford said.

One tweak includes recognizing Alaska Day as a day off for staff and students and rescheduling a professional development day for the beginning of the year, Bedford said.

The 183-day calendar includes 172 instructional days.

The significant difference between the two calendars is the timing of parent teacher conferences for elementary-aged students.

Parents of elementary students can help decide if parent teacher conferences are scheduled during the Thanksgiving holiday week.

With the two extra days off of school, parents often booked longer vacations and had to rebook conferences, Bedford said.

“We needed to have conferences away from Thanksgiving to ensure a wider use by parents,” Bedford said.

Bedford said there is a good case for using the same calendar for 2014 and 2015 to give teachers, students, parents and Juneau’s seasonal industry and businesses some consistency.

JSD sent an email to parents of students about calendar options. Parents can also find the two calendar options at www.juneauschools.org .

While the public has added its comments for the last month, parents can still have a chance to provide input. Contact the board by emailing schoolboard@ci.juneau.ak.us before the final reading on Feb. 12.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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