The Ministry of Education recently announced changes to the School Act and School Calendar Regulations. These changes have the following implications for school districts:
- The Ministry no longer publishes a provincial school calendar outlining days in session, vacation days, school start and end dates.
- School districts are required to meet a minimum number of hours of instruction per school year: 853 for Kindergarten; 878 for grades 1 to 7; 952 for grades 8 to 12.
- A school board may submit a calendar for up to 3 consecutive school years.
- A school board must make the proposed calendar(s) publicly available at least one month prior to adoption and submission to the minister.
The Vancouver School Board has a calendar committee comprised of representatives of employee groups, management, and parents (DPAC). In discussions at committee meeting the recommendation was that the board submit calendars for two consecutive school years (2013-14 and 2014-15).
The calendar committee also discussed at length whether or not to continue with the inclusion of closure days as a means to help address budgetary shortfall. Current projections indicate a 24 million dollar budget shortfall for the 2013-14 school year. Given this budget shortfall, and in order to help reduce district costs the calendar committee reluctantly supported the need for district closure days.
The calendar committee discussed the idea of having fixed, district wide non-instructional days. It was acknowledged that these days are appreciated by families but that they limit an individual schools ability to address professional development needs. A compromise position was suggested which would see 4 of the 6 non-instructional days being common across the district. Two days of these days could be altered by schools with approval.
To get more information, view proposed calendars, and to share your thoughts please visit:
This information will also be available under “current issues” on the Vancouver School Board webpage (www.vsb.bc.ca).