The Ketchikan School Board postponed adoption of the proposed 2018-2019 school calendar Wednesday, citing the need for more input from the community.
The calendar already had passed one vote, and was back for a second reading. During public comment, parent Christa Hagan suggested some changes to the calendar, in part to make it friendlier to working parents.
That sparked a long discussion by the board about how much parental input the district received before creating the calendar.
“Do we feel there was adequate input from parents at the building levels that we’re comfortable with? My sense is that the answer is no, and if no then we do have a process problem and I would recommend us do a pause, get the input, suggestions like we heard tonight and others,” said board member Matt Eisenhower.
District staff told the board that there was no parent input when drafting the calendar.
Curriculum Director Shannon Sines said the committee has to follow certain requirements when creating the calendar. Those include state regulations and obligations under negotiated agreements. They did solicit input from teachers and other district staff.
Board member Alma Parker said as a parent, she received no information about the calendar process. She only knew about it as a board member.
“So I think that communication to the parents and having the opportunity to even voice any ideas and concerns wasn’t advertised in that sense,” she said. “So, as Matt says, there was a breakdown in how the planning of the school calendar worked.”
Superintendent Robert Boyle said it would be OK to delay adoption of the calendar for a little while to gather that input. After a certain point, though, he said people will need to know firm dates, so they can plan for vacations.
Boyle suggested that district staff draft three calendars, and then solicit input from parents on those options.
A motion to postpone voting on the calendar until the board’s Feb. 28th meeting passed in a 5-1 vote. Board President Trevor Shaw voted no. He had argued that the board should reject the calendar and vote on a new motion at that later meeting.
Also Wednesday, the board accepted the resignation of board member Glenn Brown, who was absent Wednesday. Brown has been hired as the new Ketchikan Gateway Borough attorney and can no longer sit on the school board.
The board also approved a resolution honoring Brown for his service.