School District Calendar Unchanged; Two Weeks For Fall, Spring Breaks

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

School’s out for the day, and students scatter on their way to afternoon activities. The PUSD board recently voted to keep two-week fall and spring breaks in the 2010-11 school calendar.

This year, the murky pot of school calendar scheduling will remain unstirred.

The Payson Unified School District board recently approved a 2010-11 calendar that keeps two-week fall and spring breaks, along with a late July start date. The board will not survey parents and teachers this year on their scheduling preferences, despite a push from member Richard Meyer to ask.

Other board members agreed that complete satisfaction was unattainable, and that more talk often creates more controversy.

“I’ve seen boards spend many hours over this to no one’s satisfaction,” said Superintendent Casey O’Brien. “The more complex this becomes, the more aggravation it causes in the community.”

Meyer said the community met the July start date with complaints. “We got inundated,” he said.

Member Barbara Underwood said she didn’t understand the surprise because people could easily infer school’s start date from break placements.

“We’ve surveyed every which way and the other for several years now,” said board member Viki Holmes. “There’s always going to be somebody who’s not going to be happy with the calendar that’s been chosen.”

This school year features two-week fall and spring breaks, reinstated after a survey last year revealed parents and employees favored the option over one-week breaks.

Previously, the district adopted two-week breaks for the 2002-03 school year, but abandoned the idea in 2006 to instill one-week breaks.

In February, survey results convinced the board to revert to two-week breaks. However, members pushed back an originally set July 22 start date to July 29 after a chorus of grumbles.

Meyer suggested the district conduct another survey because the original survey didn’t outline the ramifications of options. People wouldn’t necessarily correlate two-week breaks with school starting in July, he said.

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