Alachua County School Board to Approve Weeklong Thanksgiving Break
Published February 5th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - It may be almost 10 months away, but public school students across Alachua County will have a whole lot to be thankful for this coming Thanksgiving, as the school board is poised to extend its traditional three day break for the annual holiday.
For as long as most students can remember, they've been given the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving week off from school. But on Tuesday night, school board members voted to abandon the traditional calendar in favor of an alternative one which provides students and teachers with a full week off for Thanksgiving.
The move would create a sort of "fall break" for students, similar to the weeklong spring break taken every March.
The alternative calendar was proposed by members of the teachers' union, who say there already is a high absentee rate among students during the two days school is in session before Thanksgiving. But some parents fired back, saying this weeklong break could leave them with nowhere to take their children while they still have to work.
In the end, the votes were split three-to-two, with a majority of board members voting to abandon the traditional schedule. Board members Carol Oyenarte and April Griffin were the two who voted to keep the old schedule.
The vote to adopt the alternative schedule will take place at the next school board meeting in two weeks, although given tonight's vote, that calendar is expected to be approved. When that happens, two days will be added to the end of the school year in order to compensate for the extra "fall break."
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