Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Juneau Board of Education voted to create a task force to help preserve Alaska native languages.
The Board also proclaimed Elizabeth Peratrovich Day for February 16. President Brian Holst said the Alaska legislature approved a law in 1988 to mark February 16th in honor of the native Alaskan leader. Her emotional plea before the legislature in 1945 led to passage of the anti discrimination bill. Holst said Peratrovich fought all her life against injustice, prejudice and discrimination. There will be school assemblies at three schools at Riverbend Elementary school, Thunder Mountain High and Yaakoosge Daakahidi.
Parents from Montessori Borealis School requested the board not cut a teacher position at the school. They said it would have a detrimental impact on the learning of students.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said he supported a bill before the Alaska Senate that would mandate biennial rather than annual state budgets. The bill would also eliminate pay and per diem for legislators if the budget were not approved by the end of the 90 day session.
The School board was also recognized as part of School Board recognition Month in February.
In other actions the Board approved the teacher evaluation handbook and debated the annual school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. The proposed calendar would end the first semester at the end of school on December 22. There were some concerns about laying on test and grades to teacher over the holidays. Some parents also liked to help their students catch up if they were behind academically at the holiday break The proposed calendar would made the first semester seven days longer than the spring semester. The first day of school would be August 21 and the final day would be May 28. After much discussion the board decided to table the matter until May to do further review. Board member Emil Mackey suggested the school year in 2019 begin a week earlier. His said his top priority is to have the first semester completed by the beginning of January.
The Board also approved a resolution to support the Alaska Education Challenge In the resolution the Board agreed to increase student success, cultivate safety and well being of students and support repsonsible and reflective learners.