Education Board revises rules for school closures

Posted: Sunday, September 01, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The State Board of Education on Wednesday voted unanimously to tighten rules for closing Alaska public schools.

Old school closure rules written in the 1970s were outdated, said Shirley Holloway, education commissioner.

The need for revisions was apparent after the abrupt three-week closure last February of the village school in Kivalina on Alaska's northwest coast, she said.

The new guidelines require a school to notify families and submit a plan for reopening to the state 10 days before closing. Districts can close schools within 24 hours if it's an emergency and approved by the Department of Education.

The new regulations also state that schools closed for safety or disciplinary reasons must remain closed for all other purposes. Kivalina officials were criticized for letting students play basketball in the gym while classes were on hold.

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