The Anchorage School Board intended to approve new school calendars for the next three years at Monday night's meeting, but deadlocked voting on just next year's.

"Can I make a motion to amend the current schedule," said board member Dave Donley. "I just feel if we make a few adjustments to this schedule we have in front of us, it'll work out better for everyone."

Donley pushed for students to have a Friday off for Fur Rondezvous. He also pushed for more time apart between spring break and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

"Growing up, I remember going to Fur Rondy on Fridays," Donley said. "Now, looking at the school schedule for the next three years, spring break and Iditarod are closer together. It'll really make it difficult for families who want to do both. Now we're asking them to choose one or the other."

Some board members had different opinions. 

"What about time for middle college students," said board member Deena Mitchell. "If we're giving more time off to our students, how does that affect these college students? Now some families may have grade school kids on break and others still in class."

The opinions swirled from when school should start to the Thanksgiving break.

"I tell you what," Board member Elisa Snelling said. "I have kids at home and giving them a whole week off for Thanksgiving followed by a long Christmas break soon after. There is no way they'll be back in school after that long of a break focused on anything."

The six-member board decided that voting on a school calendar for the next three years was too much. They opted to vote on the 2019-2020 school year instead.

"I feel if we vote on one year, people can start planning," said board president Starr Marsett. "People are counting on us so that they can make holiday and summer plans."

The ultimate vote on the 2019-2020 calendar was 3-3. 

"A tie vote and it does not pass," Marsett said. "We will table this to our next meeting. There were a lot of people counting on us to pass a calendar at this meeting. I hope our board members do their due diligence in looking at this calendar and not waiting until the meeting to ask their questions. So, if we can just make sure we are prepared at the next meeting."

The next school board meeting is Oct. 8. The school board's recommendations are posted online.

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