School board votes to retain spring break

Juneau school kids will get spring break next year. The school board voted Tuesday night to keep the week-long March break.

Public comments have been overwhelmingly against adopting a 2012 /13 calendar that would have done away with the vacation.

Spring break comes just before standardized tests are taken, and some school district officials said students could use the additional 25 hours of instruction. That proposal also had school getting out a week earlier.

But the Southeast Gold Medal Basketball Tournament also generally happens during spring break and it’s played at Juneau-Douglas High School. If school is in session, JDHS physical education classes have to be canceled and experience shows a high number of students are absent during the week-long tournament.

Opponents also argued that spring break is a family-vacation time, it’s used by many high school students to visit colleges, and teachers and kids just need a break.

Assistant Superintendent Laury Scandling said the administration was convinced after reading 160 public comments:

“We received 130 comments in favor of retaining a spring break and 17 comments that favored not having a spring break, and the administration is recommending that calendar Option A be adopted that retains spring break in the third week of March,” Scandling told the board just before the vote.

Bridget Lloyd is the Thunder Mountain High School student representative to the school board. She conducted a survey of TMHS students on the issue.

“Twenty-two students out of 222 said they would like spring break to be canceled and 200 said no,” she said.

The 2012 / 13 academic calendar shows school beginning Monday, August 20th. It ends on Friday, May 24th, and spring break is the third week of March.

The school board is considering a proposal to end the first semester before the winter holiday break in December, rather than January, after students get back from the holidays.

Recent headlines

  • Arctic Chinook exercise concludes

    Coast Guard wraps up Arctic exercises

    The series of simulated drills was known as the Arctic Chinook exercise and wrapped Thursday morning in Kotzebue, according to a Coast Guard press release.
  • Bacteria that causes botulism.

    Science and cooking collide to fight botulism

    Scientists are trying to learn how to prevent botulism in seal oil, a main ingredient in many traditional Alaska Native foods.
  • Earthquake Simulator

    Earthquake simulator will shake up Juneau

    Alaska's earthquake simulator will visit Wednesday, Aug. 31, to Thursday, Sept. 1, in downtown Juneau giving residents some emergency preparedness practice at an event that promises to shake, rattle and roll.
  • Dan DeBartolo is one of four candidates running for the Juneau School Board. (Courtesy of Dan DeBartolo)

    School board candidate juggles race and Facebook

    The creator of the Facebook page the Juneau Community Collective is running for public office and that created a problem. He had to figure out how to continue moderating political comments on the page without falling into a conflict of interest.


Playing Now: