The Ministry of Education may have passed regulations that allow school calendars to be more flexible, but the Sea to Sky corridor may have to wait until September 2014 to take advantage of the changes.
An information bulletin from the ministry on Nov. 9 outlined that a new school calendar regulation will allow school boards to offer more creative scheduling options to better meet the needs of students.
The new regulation implements a framework for school boards to establish their own calendars beginning next September. They will be able to determine the number and dates of days in a session, the number of dates of each day of instruction, the dates of vacation periods and non-instructional days. The ministry will continue to implement the number of instructional hours, however, districts must consult with the public before finalizing calendars.
At its regular board meeting last Wednesday (Nov. 14) School District No. 48 passed a motion directing its administration to develop options for the next calendar that is similar to this year’s calendar.
It also scheduled a special board meeting to be held next Wednesday (Nov. 28) at the school board offices.
“The board felt that while there are many creative possibilities for calendars in the future, with short timelines for the 2013/14 calendar a more conservative approach was appropriate at this time,” wrote board chair Rick Price in a release.
The School Act requires the board to issue a proposed calendar by the end of February and consult with parents and employee groups prior to submitting it to the ministry by the end of March.
However in the statement by Price several key issues were identified in terms of how to develop a calendar including whether or not to submit multi-year calendars, to retain bookends for beginning and end of the school year, keep two vacation periods (winter and spring) or consider multiple periods, what should be considered district-wide and what should vary by school and community, what time of consultation process to undertake and what other information other than what is required should the calendars contain.
Options for calendar development and future parameters to be considered will also be presented at the special board meeting.