For the first time, the Campbell River School District has produced its calendars for the next three years. The decision to look further ahead was to help teachers, families and community groups with their own planning. Pixabay Image

Two-week spring break returns to Campbell River public schools

School District 72 has drafted calendars for the next three years

A two-week spring break is on the horizon for Campbell River students.

The longer spring break was included in School District 72’s draft calendars for the next three years. They were approved for public circulation at the Feb. 25 school board meeting,

Superintendent Jeremy Morrow said the Campbell River School District wanted to allow those whose lives revolve around the school calendar to know their schedules more than a year in advance.

“We are aware that our community and a variety of not just families, but community agencies wait for our school calendars so they can provide supports for families on those days when we’re not in session,” he said. “We wanted to proved as much lead up time as we could.”

The process began last fall when the district’s calendar committee sat down to develop not just a calendar for the upcoming school year, but for the next three.

The district had been getting requests from parents and staff asking for the calendar to be set further in advance. It will also allow community partners like Strathcona Gardens, which often offers activities for kids on professional development and non-instructional days the ability to plan their own schedules further in advance.

The activities are advertised in the recreation guide, which is published three times a year.

“Knowing the school calendar in advance does make it easier to plan, co-ordinate and promote opportunities for professional development days or other non-instructional days,” said Koreen Gurak, Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex senior manager.

An online survey went out for feedback last fall and the calendar committee used the responses to inform their decisions this time around.

Morrow said they had about 300 respondents to their initial calendar feedback.

“We asked basically what key priorities do you want to calendar committee to consider,” he said.

The feedback on spring break was clear. The majority of respondents were in favour of a two-week spring break, which hasn’t been in place in the district since the 2017/18 school year.

The district is able to have the two-week spring break without affecting the length of the school day by scheduling a few professional development days for before students return to class in September.

The two-week spring break makes its first appearance in 2021.

According to the draft 2020/2021 calendar, which hasn’t been officially approved, the break would run from March 22 to April 5.

The other significant break is in December over the Christmas holidays from Dec. 21, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021.

The schedule also includes four professional development days when students don’t attend school on Oct. 23, Feb. 12, March 8 and June 30. There are two more on the calendar, but they are scheduled before students are due back from summer holidays.

The first day of school is slated for Sept. 8 and the last day for students is June 29.

Looking ahead to the draft 2021/2022 calendar, the format remains much the same. School starts the second week of September and Christmas holidays are from Dec. 20 to Jan. 3 while spring break is from March 14-18. There are six professional development days on the calendar, with two taking place before students return to the classroom. The last day is scheduled for June 29.

The draft 2022/2023 calendar looks similar as well. Students are back in school on Sept. 6. Winter break runs from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2 while spring break runs from March 27 to April 10. There are six professional development days scheduled. Five of them will take place during the school year.

While the calendar committee endeavoured to attach the professional development days to weekends, there is one in November they weren’t able to do that for.

On Nov. 1, 2022, students will not be in school, but staff will be for the non-instructional day. It’s a Tuesday, but it falls on the day after Halloween.

“By all intents and purposes, adults are ready to learn after Halloween, but the students are not as ready,” said Morrow.

The last day of class for students in the 2022/2023 school year is June 29.

People can submit their feedback on the new draft calendars until March 25 by email to school.calendar@sd72.bc.ca. You can view the draft calendars online at sd72.bc.ca.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Kindergarteners celebrate 100 days of school in Campbell River School District

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marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

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