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Province gives boards more flexibility on school calendars

School districts in B.C. now have more flexibility in setting their instructional calendar with the passage of new regulations. - THINKSTOCK.COM
School districts in B.C. now have more flexibility in setting their instructional calendar with the passage of new regulations.
— image credit: THINKSTOCK.COM

The province is allowing school districts to be more creative with their schedules with a new framework for school calendars.

But there are no moves afoot in School District 43 to change the way calendars are organized with more frequent and longer breaks or year-round schooling.

However, with the passage of the Bill 36 School amendment act and new regulations now in force, public school boards can now make their own decision on a number of issues.

For example, they can set the number and dates of days in session, the number of instruction days, the dates of vacation periods and the dates of non-instructional days, such as professional development days.

However, the Ministry of Education will continue to set the minimum number of instructional hours and districts will be required to consult with the public before finalizing their school calendars.

In SD43, trustees have been cautious about adopting different calendar schedules. At a meeting in May, when the changes were proposed, trustees raised various concerns, including how families and sports organizations will be affected.

At the time, Superintendent Tom Grant said changing the school calendar would have to be a "community engagement" exercise but cautioned that decisions shouldn't be made for educational reasons because there is no evidence that changing the school calendar has educational benefits, except for students with learning challenges.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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