Longer Breaks Approved by School Board

Anthony Elrod, Staff Writer

   Start making your vacation plans for the rest of the time you are in high school.

   The J.O. Combs Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved a new 5-year school calendar that closely aligns with Queen Creek and Apache Junction Unified School Districts.

   The calendar adds a full week of vacation for Thanksgiving and an additional week to spring break.

  Even though the changes extend the school year, it does not add more school days.

   The change to the calendar was influenced by Queen Creek and Apache Junction district calendars. Spring break next year is from March 8 to the 19 across all three of the Districts.

   Results from a district wide survey show that 62% of voters were in favor of longer fall and spring break. 88% of voters on the survey voted yes on a three day Thanksgiving break. 78% of voters voted yes for a five year calendar being thought about and created for all District stakeholders.

   Superintendent Gregory Wyman, Ed.D. said, “Based on what people are asking, for example, for a survey, people are asking to be close to what some of the other districts, like Queen Creek or Apache Junction was like and so that’s what you’re trying to do with this calendar to meet to what the people are requesting.”

   The calendar gives families the ability to plan for vacations and general travel. Dr. Wyman wanted to make it a five year set calendar, so the families of the district can plan with years in advance for a trip.

   “Next five years, the school calendars look great. I mean, I think that they’ve gotten input from all the stakeholders, and I think that the parents along with staff like to be able to plan vacations etcetera,” Board President Shelly Hargis said.