The Anchorage School District may use means other than conferences to consult with parents on their children's performance, as educators make a bid to end the school year on time May 22 despite missing several days due to the Nov. 30 earthquake.

According to a Monday memo submitted to the Anchorage School Board by ASD Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop, students were not in school for the full week starting Dec. 3 after the 7.0 quake. Almost all ASD students returned to the classroom on Dec. 10, with Gruening Middle School students returning a day later.

"ASD establishes its school year calendars in advance to allow families and staff to plan ahead," Bishop's memo read. "With this in mind, high consideration was placed on not extending the school calendar, as doing so would potentially impact graduations, travel, vacation plans, summer school, and many other family and educational plans."

Bishop suggests the board declare Monday, Dec. 3 a district "Emergency Closure Day," and asks that state Education Commissioner Michael Johnson excuse Tuesday, Dec. 4, Wednesday, Dec. 5, and Thursday, Dec. 6 as student contact days. Friday, Dec. 7, would be made up as an instructional day by using parent-teacher conference days and an in-service day in February.

Under the proposed calendar changes, current half-days on Feb. 20, 21, and 22 would become regular, full teaching days.

"In lieu of parent-teacher conferences, principals will work with teachers on alternative means to reach out to parents regarding the progress, learning, and growth of their students," the memo read. 

The school board is expected to vote on the proposal during its Jan. 22 meeting.

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