Education leaders look at possibly aligning spring breaks

State preK-12 and higher education leaders are looking into the possibility of aligning spring break for the entire Kansas public education system.

Supporters of the move say if high school and college spring breaks are at the same time, it will make it easier for more high school students to take college courses and post-secondary training during their junior and senior years in high school.

“Schedules matter if we are gong to bring our systems together,” said Blake Flanders, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents. “This is something that people want to see happen, if we just take that first step. I think that many people will move toward this alignment,” Flanders said.

Currently, the regents set the academic calendars for the state’s post-secondary institutions and local school boards determine the calendars for their districts.

Education leaders say Kansas needs to increase the number of students who get post-secondary courses through dual or concurrent enrollment while in high school.

“As I get older I get less patient with the incremental progress toward that goal,” said Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson. “We’re going to have accelerate,” he said.

The discussion occurred Wednesday during a joint meeting of the State Board of Education and Kansas Board of Regents.

Two members of the State Board of Education, however, cautioned that local school boards set their calendars based on local community needs.

Board members and regents decided to put together a subcommittee to look into alignment of school breaks and provide a recommendation by the end of the year, possibly for the 2021-22 school year.

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