Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau school board will be discussing masking in the district at their meeting this evening, among other items.
The board will be presented with results from a recent survey of parents and staff.
School board member Emil Mackey spoke on masking while a guest on Action Line.
"I'm thinking that there is an opportunity for relaxation here, however, I also think that we need to consider what's happening statewide, and especially what's happening in Washington and what's happening here because we're such a transient community, that should Washington start to go high or if Anchorage starts to go high we really need to probably then have something built into our masking to reimplement them so that we can prevent spread at that time," he said. "But everybody's sick of them. I'm sick of them, but at the same time too, the reality is COVID is still here and we have to keep an eye on it. But can we be more relaxed at this time? Yeah, probably. So and we'll talk about it and we'll see where it goes."
He was asked about his thoughts on the timing of lifting masking; right now, after spring break, a week after spring break, May 2nd, or the end of the school year. This was asked on the survey to parents and staff.
"I would wait until after spring break to implement anything. That will give us a little bit more time, hopefully maybe the Department of Education will have some recommendations by that time, but I would wait till the end just for the opportunity to give ample public notice of what we're doing and create a policy that is well thought out."
In other matters, the FY24 school calendar will be taken up for final approval. Members will be presented with three draft calendars, staff recommends approval of draft A. They say the semesters are balanced, inservice days are well placed to provide maximum benefit to educators and partial weeks are minimized as much as possible. The last contract day for educators would be before Memorial Day.
The budget for the next fiscal year is in first reading. The draft budget assumes a base student allocation, the amount schools receive per student, of $5,930. It also assumes the state will fully fund the foundation program, and the city will appropriate funds for general school operations at the maximum level permitted by state law. A second and final reading of the budget will be held March 14th.
Prior to the start of the meeting at 6 pm, members will gather for a 4:30 pm work session to discuss collective bargaining.