Casa Grande Emergency School Closure Cuts Spring Break Short; 2023-24 Schedule Changes


Photo by Owen Davis

Casa Grande’s schedule has faced multiple challenges over the past years; COVID, state requirements, wildfires, and power malfunctions have forced administration to make changes in accordance with California state laws. 

Most recently after the Dec. 1 and 2 school days were canceled due to electric problems, staff and students alike have been questioning Casa Grande’s “two-week spring break.” The extended break is not a guaranteed vacation, but an allotment of emergency break days to be used in the event of an unforeseen school closure. The days were added to accommodate for closures during Northern California’s wildfire season or public safety power shutdowns (PSPS) that often resulted in school cancelation. 

In the 2021-22 school year, students were able to enjoy an extended spring break as Casa Grande did not close for any emergencies earlier in the year. However, the canceled days in December threatened this potential second week of break. Casa Grande submitted a waiver to the State of California in an effort to keep the emergency days intact. 

The emergency waiver proposed to ignore the December cancellation, because of the nature of the outage, there were only two canceled days. The request was denied, and Casa Grande made modifications to both their 2022-23 and 2023-24 schedules to maintain the required 180 instructional days and 64,800 instructional minutes. 

So what do students need to know? The “two-week spring break” will not occur in 2023, at least not in full. Casa Grande will be in session on Thursday, Apr. 6 and Friday, Apr. 7. The actual spring break will take place from Mar. 25 to Apr. 5: a total of 11 days. 

Casa Grande and Petaluma City Schools plan to move forward by changing emergency closure days. Rather than a proposed second week of spring break, the days will be allocated to create a week-long break in February of 2024. In addition to President’s Day and Lincoln’s Holiday, on Feb. 19 and 20 respectively, the rest of the week is reserved for emergency closure. If the school year proceeds with no unexpected closures, students can expect an extra week off in February. To find out more about the schedule, the board-approved 2023-24 plan is available on Casa Grande’s website. 

The emergency school closure make-up days ensure that teachers and students uphold state requirements for instructional hours and keep graduation and last days of school from changing. Petaluma City Schools and Casa Grande have worked together to create an effective and safe plan for the upcoming year, and while the “two-week break” is now a thing of the past, students can prepare for the make-up days and potential break in February of the 2023-24 school year.