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Elkhorn Public Schools changes spring break schedule affecting student athletes

Elkhorn Public Schools changes spring break schedule affecting student athletes. Photo courtesy: Mike Oestmann

ELKHORN -- Elkhorn high school athletes are now having to decide between spring break and sports games.

Elkhorn High School and Elkhorn South High School are the two out of 17 schools in the Elkhorn Public School districts that are affected by the change in the spring break calendar.

Some parents say this is concerning because it will affect their children's participation in after school activities.

Mike Oestmann says the countdown is on for a tradition he doesn't want to break.

"Spring break is a big one because it's the only opportunity to go besides Christmas when there's snow," he said. Oestmann takes his four children skiing each year for spring break, but this year he says they are facing a conflict.

"My daughter, now we're going, and she's missing three soccer games," he added.

Elkhorn Public School Board agreed to push spring break back one week after spring sports have already started.

"I've been asking the school board since October to move spring break to the way it has been," Oestmann said.

Elkhorn High School's superintendent, Steve Baker, says fewer than seven percent of students are in spring sports.

He sent Fox 42 a statement of his decision:

The Elkhorn Public Schools Board of Education and Administration take very seriously the development of the school calendar, and the Elkhorn calendar is very much in alignment with other Metro school districts. There is no one single calendar that will address the needs of each and every family, especially in a district with 8,600 students and approximately 5,000 families. Students that are voluntarily involved in activities, whether in the fall, winter or spring often have to make choices during scheduled breaks. Those conflicts are unavoidable. Since October, the EPS Board and Administration have spent many hours listening to the concerns of one family, and has decided to not make changes to already approved calendars for the next four school years.

Other parents have signed a petition that was started Monday night after the board meeting.

Comments read: "The school board should schedule spring break that doesn't conflict with school activities if possible," and, "our family would have gone on some college visits but now we have soccer games that we cannot miss."

The Elkhorn Public School Board voted to move its spring break schedule in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

It will go back to the original schedule in 2020.

To read the petition click here.

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