Comox Valley School District planning to expand X Blocks

The Comox Valley School District is looking for public feedback on its draft 2013/2014 calendar.

The Comox Valley School District is looking for public feedback on its draft 2013/2014 calendar, which has one significant change from this year’s calendar.

The draft calendar includes 15 Wednesdays over the year which would be PLC (Professional Learning Community)/X Block days throughout the school district.

The school day would end 90 minutes earlier than normal on those particular Wednesdays, but superintendent Sherry Elwood noted how the time would be used would vary a little school by school.

Currently, all three secondary schools in the Valley — Mark R. Isfeld, Vanier and recently, Highland — have X Blocks in place, including time for teachers to participate in PLCs.

During X Block, (which is around an hour long depending on the secondary school), students can use the time for learning via individual studying, group work, seeking extra help from teachers and educational assistants, or they can go home, as participating in the block is optional. However, if students are behind in classwork, school staff can make using that time for extra help mandatory for those particular students.

Meanwhile, teachers use the time to collaborate on various topics, with the goal of improving student learning.

Elwood noted a number of elementary schools in the district have programs similar to X Block in place already, too.

However, designating a certain district-wide time for these activities would allow for greater ease of cross-school collaboration, added trustee Janice Caton after the Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

Trustee Sheila McDonnell voiced concerns over the draft calendar, noting she would like some proof that the lost instructional time is a good tradeoff for teacher collaborations.

However, if the draft calendar were to go out for public consultation in March, which is required by the Province, trustees had to give the OK at Tuesday’s meeting.

Trustees gave approval to obtain feedback on the calendar with McDonnell opposed.

Elwood added individual schools would have some independence on how they would like to use the time in terms of student learning and activities, but district buses would pick students up at the early dismissal time.

She also noted schools would provide supervision to students who must stay after early dismissal on PLC/X Block days as they do now on early-dismissal days.

If trustees want to move forward with the calendar after public feedback is finished, the plan for PLC/X Block days would be fine tuned, she added.

To view the draft calendar, learn more about PLCs and provide feedback, visit The matter is expected to come before the board again during its March 19 meeting, and feedback will be accepted until about a week before that meeting.

Just Posted

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ in Courtenay to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Cam Levins sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

Most Read