School Board sets next year's calendar

School year will begin Aug. 27; end June 2

Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2003

The Juneau School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved next school year's calendar.

The school year will start Wednesday, Aug. 27, for students in grades one through 12, and Tuesday, Sept. 2, for kindergartners. The school year will end Wednesday, June 2, two days after Memorial Day.

The calendar was created by a committee of teachers, support staff and parents who followed guidelines set by the School Board.

Spring parent-teacher conferences in the elementary schools were placed a week earlier in March than this school year because parents said they wanted to know as soon as possible how their students are doing.

Winter break, including the weekends, extends from Dec. 20 through Jan. 4. Spring break, with weekends, runs from March 20 through March 28.

The only change in the final calendar from the draft presented last month came from the state: It has moved the dates of the standardized state exams from early March to Feb. 17 to 19.

The committee, following recommendations from teachers, had wanted to schedule high school parent-teacher conferences on the afternoons of the tests, when school is disrupted anyway. But the new test dates are too early in the semester for productive conferences.

District administrators said the most common objections to the calendar were that the two days of school after Memorial Day would be unproductive, and that an earlier end to the school year would make it easier for support staff to find summer jobs.

The state moved up the high school exit exam dates so scores would be returned to schools by the end of April, before some graduation ceremonies in early May, said Mark Leal, director of assessment and accountability for the state Department of Education. Students must pass the exam to get a diploma.

The state then changed all the grades' test dates to conform because it's easier for multi-grade schools to administer tests on one date, Leal said.

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