Campbell River’s public school students will get what amounts to an extra week of summer vacation this year, thanks to approval of the 2015-16 school year calendar by the SD72 Board of Trustees March 24. In a calendar option overwhelmingly selected by 1,880 respondents to an online survey, School will begin Sept. 8.
“The 1,880 total respondents, I think, is huge given our population,” Superintendent Tom Longridge told trustees. “And the results were fairly consistent among both parents and employees.”
The start date is the traditional day after Labour Day, but an unusual twist in the 2015 calendar put Labour Day at the start of the second week of the month. As a result, the district’s calendar committee put together five different options for a calendar. The board narrowed it to three finalists before putting it to a vote of parents and school district personnel. The results were surprisingly similar.
With 1,475 parents and guardians responding, 63.95 per cent chose the calendar starting Sept. 8. Among the 405 district employees and educational partners, 63.40 per cent selected the same option. The second option, in which school would have begun Sept. 1, had 20.97 per cent compbined approval. The third option, starting Sept. 2, was selected by 15.19 per cent.
The 2015-16 calendar will kick off with three professional development days the week before Labour Day. It will also feature a two-week spring break.
“We were able to get to the spring break earlier than we did this year,” said Longridge. “It seemed a bit of a long haul this year to get to quite a late spring break.”
Future school calendars could be set on a two- or even three-year basis, depending on decisions made by the calendar committee in meetings scheduled for next month. The committee will begin the process for next year’s calendar in April, following spring break.
“We’ll be able to discuss some other issues around having not just a one-year calendar but looking three years into the future, which would have a great benefit for planning ahead for families and for the board,” Longridge said.