Blog: Board of Education discusses pre-break finals calendars

Fariha Beig, Author

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The Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education discussed the 2012-2013 and 2013-1014 school calendars last night during the School Board meeting.

11:00 p.m. – We’re done! School Board meeting ends. No action is taken in terms of the pre-break finals calendars.

10:20 p.m. – Board members close the disscussion on the finals before break calendars; Board Members took no action on the calenders. Board members turn to the next order of business, the 2011-12 First Interim Financial Report.

9:53 p.m. – Within the district goals, Board members say that they “are focusing a lot on high schools” and that the finals before break calendars are “another opportunity to modify our policies.”

9:46 p.m. – From a teacher’s perspective, Paly Teacher Debbie Whitson emulated many concerns that have been raised with the finals before break calendars. “Honestly, at this point there is no benchmark to test this calendar. It’s not a work free break for teachers. Like students, teachers need time to do work.”

9:50 p.m. – Student Board Representatives Alex Carter (Paly) and Gurpal Virdi (Gunn) said that they will help the School Board attain data on how students feel about the constantly discussed school calendars through polls and surveys.

8:41 p.m. –  Members from the Palo Alto community relayed their thoughts on the calendars. Most of them had similar concerns such as the calendars will be “more stressful” and “what it the motivation to change [the current school calendar]?”.

8:03 p.m. – Board members’ voice their concerns and questions; also there are 26 speaker cards from community to address the board. 

7:52 p.m. – Milliken talked about the unequal semesters, the college application deadlines and support.

7:45 p.m. – Superintendent Kevin Skelly and Director of Secondary Education Michael Milliken present the Mitigations for 2012- 2013 and 2013-2014 School Calendars report. “The Board will not take action tonight. There was an interest in reopening the [discussion of the] calendars,” Skelly said.

7:01 p.m. – Math Task Force Update with El Carmelo Elementary School Principal Chuck Merritt and Ohlone Parent

6:30 p.m. – School Board meeting begins.