Calendar Consultation 2021

Two-Week Spring Break & New Federal Statutory Holiday 

As a result of the successful negotiations with the Kamloops Thompson Teachers’ Association (KTTA) and CUPE Local 3500 (CUPE), new calendars for the 2021-2022, 2022-2023, and 2023- 2024 school years are required to reflect a two-week spring break.

To ensure that the district meets the prescribed minimum hours of instruction each year in the regular five-day school week, the 2021-2022 school day will be lengthened by 11 minutes for elementary schools, and 9 minutes for secondary schools.

For 2022-2023 and 2023-2024, the school day will be lengthened by 9 minutes for elementary schools and 7 minutes for secondary schools. This additional time will be added to the end of each school day. To meet the prescribed minimum hours of instruction each year for the four-day school week, the four days of spring break will be spread out during the year rather than adding additional minutes to each day. This was accomplished by only adding one additional Friday school day during the year. The other three will take place on the Thursday of a week where this is a non-instructional day on the Friday.

The calendar proposal also includes the newly created federal statutory holiday which will be held on September 30 of each year.

Regulations

According to Section 87.01(2) of the School Act, “a board must, in accordance with the regulations of the minister, prepare a school calendar for each school in its school district for each school calendar year”. According to Section 87.01(7) of the School Act and the Calendar Regulation, the Board must make publicly available a school calendar that it proposes to submit to the Minister at least one month before the date the school calendar must be submitted to the Minister on Aug 6, 2021. Furthermore, the District must provide an opportunity for parents and representatives of the employee groups to provide comments to the Board of Education.

Prescribed Minimum Hours of Instruction

According to the School Act, a Board of Education must offer not less than the following hours of instruction in a school year to students enrolled in schools in its district. 

  • 853 hours of instruction for students in kindergarten.
  • 878 hours of instruction for students in grades 1 to 7.
  • 952 hours of instruction for students in grades 8 to 12. 

Amending the Calendar

The Board may, in accordance with the School Act, amend a school calendar that has been made public by the Board under section 87.01 (9) or (10) if, in the opinion of the Board, an amendment is necessary. 

Process and Timelines

The School Calendar Regulations provide the parameters for process and timelines when establishing a calendar for a district. The Regulations define the terms and demand the following:

  • Prescribed minimum hours of instruction by year
  • Expected consultation with stakeholders
  • Format of published School Calendar

Calendar Consultation 2021

Proposed Yearly Calendars

Comments

The public review of the calendar closed on Aug 6, 2021.

Deanna S.
I wanted to take this opportunity to share my support of the 2 week spring break. This will provide more family time with relatives that live in other districts.
Lindsay P.
I absolutely oppose a 4 day school week. Children already have many pro-d days that give them extended weekends and finding extra childcare for one day a week is feasible  easy for working parents. (NOTE: The four-day calendar is for Sun Peaks School Only)

I also am opposed to a 2 week Spring Break. Other than school staff their is no other job in the world that allows for 11 weeks off (12 if we go to 2 weeks spring break) in a year. Again for working parents they are already having to find childcare for 11 weeks out of the year.

Kids need the time to learn and not all pushed all into 4 days loosing that day could be detrimental to some kids’ learning
Barb C. 
I’m very excited and happy we are finally getting a 2 week Spring Break. Thank you!
Shantel R.
I’m more than fine with one week. I’d rather have extra time off at Christmas or summer break. If we are making it 2 it should be mandatory to fall over the Easter break also.
Tammy L.
Thank you for going back to 2 weeks for Spring Break! It's nice to align with other SDs and have more family time
Jenn R.
I absolutely oppose a 4 day school week, if I’m reading the proposal right there are 2 options on the table, one with extended minutes to each day and one where kids are in school for only 4 days a week. I also am opposed to a 2 week Spring Break. Other than school staff their is no other job in the world that allows for 11 weeks off (12 if we go to 2 weeks spring break) in a year.
My daycare closes for 2 weeks in the winter break and 2 weeks in the summer, I’m already missing enough work to accommodate that, let alone adding the extra spring break week.
And how many studies have been done about the loss education kids have the more they stay away from school?
This is a bad idea.
Name withheld by request
This email is in response to the request for parent input on changing the Spring Break timeframe from one week to two. 
I am not in support of this change. 
Where applicable, a majority of households are required to have both parents working. Changing to two weeks will be a huge financial burden to many households if this were to take effect. It is a difficult and unrealistic ask for parents to sort two weeks out when having to work full time - especially with daycare options being so limited or already at capacity. Camps that are usually made available are nearly just as expensive as daycare. 
Many families may have the option of taking vacation time, and that's great, but many do not have that option and will feel stressed, scrambling and abandoned on this matter. What about the parents that are in school?
How does changing this to match other school districts in the province have any relevance? Shouldn't this decision be solely based on the impact it would have on the families and teachers within the district? 
I ask that you please keep my response private and use it only for the purpose of providing feedback, as requested by SD73. 
Monica R.
I feel the decision for two weeks spring break will put strain on most families especially homes with lower incomes. I’ve heard that this was parent driven but my guess is the wealthier families who can either a) have a stay at home parent or b) afford to take months worth of time off in a year spoke the loudest. How are parents supposed to take enough time off work and/or find/afford another week of child care. There is already 8 weeks in the summer, 1 at Christmas, 1 at spring break and pro d days to account for. I get 3 weeks of paid vacation time per year and I feel that is pretty good in comparison to a lot of others who likely get less. Doing this will eat into families ability to afford and enjoy the Christmas and summer vacation time which is already a challenge. My personal experience is that children do better with short breaks and struggle to return once out for too long. I am also unsure how a few more minutes to each day will be more beneficial than an entire week of class time?
Plus, where are people ‘vacationing’ in March?? Likely the wealthy who can afford an out of country trip. I vote ‘No’ to two week spring break. It further draws the line between the have and have nots. I do not think the public school system should be viewed as daycare. But it is obvious that the public school system is a dinosaur and does not operate in a cohesive way with the rest of the professional world. I think change is needed on the school system side and the way we run our professional careers do our children can be better cared for and the systems cohesive.
Amanda F. 
I fully support 2 weeks for spring break.
Kate K. 
Love the 2 week spring break proposal! This will allow us to meet up with family members from other districts who also have the 2 week spring break (from around the province).
Kayla F.
Full support of proposed 2-week spring break in sd73 dates. 
Cheryl T.
So happy to have the Kamloops district fall in line with the rest of the province! This is excellent news.
Patricia K.
We are very fortunate in our family.  Because I no longer work, I and my husband are available for all 3 grandchildren while their moms either work or go to school.  I am also glad to see us inline with other school districts.
Katie A.
Wanting to suggest the dates of March 14-25 to align with the private schools in town that have been doing the 2 week spring break for awhile.
Stefanie P. 
I am sending this email in opposition of the proposed 2 week spring break.

Quote from an article posted by SD73: "The extended spring break is a benefit for our membership." said Corey Grabner.

I would like for the school district to start thinking about the students. It is not like families can also take the time off but struggle either with finding expensive child care solutions putting an extra strain on families and kids or kids have to stay home alone which often means being glued to screens all day.

Extending the day for young children so teachers can take an additional week off is unacceptable. My children take the bus at 7.20am and return home at 3.20pm. I would think this is a long enough day for elementary school children.

If you insist on the 2 week spring break please consider decreasing Pro-D days which are also painful for parents. The public reception is that Pro-D days are just another day off for parents who also get sick days per month and a 2 month summer break. Many parents can't take time off together in order to cover all the breaks and Pro-D days. We live rural and do not have very many childcare options or camps available to us.
Jamie
I am 100% opposed to the 2 week spring break. There are enough non instructional days through the year as it is. Never mind the extra costs and stress for parents trying to arrange for care or activities for their children. I realize school is not “daycare” but extra time off is a disruptive from regular routine and at the end of it will cost parents more money which to be blunt many can not afford. As for having Fridays off for our family it would/could potentially work well but there are so many unanswered questions as to if this will effect learning etc negatively. I also know this will cause a headache for many other families as far as routine, financial upset, etc. There needs to be more information before a decision can be made. Will there even be enough daycare spaces for children who need full day care on Fridays? Again this decision needs more research and information on how things will look for families.
New Kindergarten Parent
I think the 2 weeks spring break is a wonderful idea. Students need time to be kids and live their best life. Educators need time to plan and rest in order to provide their best selves to their students. I know some parents will struggle finding childcare, but that responsibility does not lie on the school district or its employees.  Great job alligning with the rest of B.C. and acknowedging the importance of time for kids to be kids!
Brenda J. 
About time SD 73 got in line with the majority of other districts. Makes so much sense.
Ann H. 
I understand that many are excited about the two week spring break, but for us, like many households with two working parents (who aren’t teachers) it will not be a break. It will be a struggle to find care for our children. I also don’t believe that adding on x minutes a day can make up for an entire week of learning.  I don’t agree that this extra week benefits education in any way.  Please reconsider and keep it at one week.
Marcy
Fully supportive of 2 week spring break. Family time is extremely important. It is also great to align with the rest of the province.
Crystal H. 
I would like to suggest that a non- instructional day coincide with TRU’s Reading week for 3 reasons.  First, as a professor at the University, I see the hardship that finding childcare places on my University students.  Annually, I see a large decrease in attendance.  Also, TRU is one of the largest employers in our district area, and employees would also benefit from taking childcare leave over the reading week.  Finally, I have always wanted to collaborate and offer professional development for local teachers.  However, due to my time constraints during my semester, reading week would be an ideal time to do this.  A non-instructional day during TRU’s reading week would strengthen ties between faculty and teachers.  University students could also put on programming for younger ages.  Thank you for your consideration of this idea.
Roxy H. 
I do not support a 2 week Spring break.
 Kristy
So excited to finally be going back to a two week spring break like the rest of the province!!
 Lee O. 
I support the change to a two week spring break!
 Nicole B. 
Sharing my support of the 2 week spring break. This will provide more family time and the opportunity to spend time with relatives that live in other districts
 MP
We absolutely oppose the two week spring break. This vacation” is a massive financial burden on many working families who cannot take two weeks off during this period. Moreover, childcare options in our region are very challenging. It is an inequitable change that further squeezes those in our community.
 Nicole N. 
Yes to the 2 week spring break.
 Angela R. 
I am so happy to hear about a 2 week spring break !! Finally we are aligned with the rest of the province, I am a full time single parent that work full time as well and I see no issue with this I think the kids deserve a 2 week spring break along with everywhere else
 P. P. 
our family is in full support of the two week spring break.
thank you
 Sandra C. 
So very happy to see Kamloops finally get into the right place by doing the same Spring Break as the rest of BC  They need 2 weeks to recharge
 Megan U. 
I am sending this to express my opposition to a 2 week spring break. For students with special needs or disabilities a break this long results in a loss of learning and momentum. For my son, this loss in momentum is never regained during the school term. After spring break he takes 3 to 4 weeks to settle again, by which time the term is winding down. This extra week causes a learning loss of about 5 weeks.
 Vicki H. 
 I strongly oppose the 2 week spring break.

The average cost of spring break childcare is $280/ week! Then add on summer daycare at approx $700/month, while many people have been given the opportunity to work from home most parents do not have that option and are forced to  find childcare which we all know is near impossible in this town!

1 week Spring Break is plenty! University students only get 1 week for reading break, elementary and secondary students don't need 2 weeks.
Michelle E.
I support the 2 week spring break. Family vacations can now be planned and not rushed giving kids time to settle before returning to school. As a working parent I find this amazing and look forward to the two week spring break. Teachers are faced with unprecedented teaching conditions and they deserve a rest as well. Growing up we had 2 week spring breaks and our parents found lots of things for us kids to do. Also it could work better for kids with two homes so they can spend time with both parents during the break. I see this as a wi  win
VW
It is nice to see the district align with the rest of the province and finally move to the two week spring break. The kids and teachers need this time to reset and come back fresh and ready to take on the third term.
Alison G.
I agree with the 2 week spring break, it will actually be a break & my other son goes to a band run school that has 2 weeks so it would match both schedules
Amy W. 
I'm thrilled that we're finally going back to what the majority of parents and teachers have said they want!
D.S. 
Yes!!! Two week spring break is a much needed break for students and their families. I have read other’s thoughts with regards to hardships on working parents, but in my opinion (1) it’s important to be aligned with the rest of the province and (2) just because some parents may have difficulty with finding childcare for a second week during the springbreak period, it shouldn’t mean the rest are denied the opportunity to take family time, holiday time etc and nor should our educators and the school system be seen as daycare!
Janine O.
A 2 week spring break is terrible for my family.  Both me and my husband have full time jobs, already 1 week and summer is very expensive for child care, but now affording 2 weeks is putting us in financial instability.
Bianca B. 
I am in favour of the proposed 2-week Spring Break
Stephany D. 
My family and I are in favor of a 2 week Spring break... It's a much needed reprieve from studies, a time family can spend together, and aligns with what the province is doing.
Claudia
100% support a 2 week break!! I actually thought this was already a done deal.
Adrienne M. 
Yes! I fully support two weeks let’s get on par with the rest of BC. We have always loved in districts with two weeks and it’s a relief for both the students and staff.
Jeremy
Time to get in unity with the rest of the province, totally support the 2 weeks.
Rachel B.
I support the 2 week spring break, it helped my children feel fully rested for the final push of the school year,plus we were able to plan holidays and not feel rushed coming back and getting into school routines right away. Looking forward to 2 weeks again.
Scott
I fully support the 2 week spring break with additional minutes added to the end of the school day.  It is about time that Kamloops lines up with the majority of the province.
Tanya S.
I am so excited about having a two week spring break again.  This will be fantastic to be able to connect with relatives and being able go on a vacation.  I have 2 students with IEPs yes it can bring a little disruption in routine but they also need time to relax and have some downtime.  I fully understand that this is hard for working parents but I fully believe that students need this extra week to get that downtime that is needed
Trudy J.
A 2 week spring break is a definite hardship for working families with daycare so expensive and hard to find. 1 week break is enough.
Name withheld by request
I am in opposition to the 2 week spring break. While I can appreciate children needing a break, I feel like teachers already have so much time off throughout the year. Many parents have much less vacation time (if any), which makes it very difficult to arrange childcare both physically and financially as it is. Adding an extra week just makes it that much more difficult and expensive in an area that is tough to find child care in to start with.
Name withheld by request
I oppose the 2 week spring break but obviously working parents concerns don’t matter as this decision has already been made, so my opinion is irrelevant here.
I also oppose a 4 day week. Does the school district not realize how many parents are working and do not have child care available for Fridays, is the school district going to provide childcare for all the kids that will not have anyone at home to look after them? There is already a shortage of childcare in the city how in the world will this be accommodated? Ridiculous I’m my opinion!

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