Comox Valley trustees unanimously approve school calendar

Donna Graves is pleased next year's school calendar passed at the April 8 Board of Education meeting.

COMOX VALLEY MOM Donna Graves poses with Gavin (left) and Sean

Donna Graves is pleased next year’s school calendar passed at the April 8 Board of Education meeting.

Her five children attend three Arden Elementary, Lake Trail Secondary and Georges P. Vanier Secondary.

“Each school handles their professional learning community (PLC) differently. My primary concern is that valuable instruction time may be lost due to too many early dismissals,” Graves says.

A special Board of Education meeting, open to the public, was held Tuesday to accept or reject the 2013/14 school calendar. It was carried unanimously.

At a glance, the 2013/14 calendar looks similar to this year’s, with a two-week spring break and a two-week winter break. New to the calendar are the much-discussed PLC/X Blocks to be held on 15 Wednesdays throughout the school year.

Despite her concern, Graves is “pleased the recommendation for the 2013/14 calendar passed.” She realizes that if she wants the additional instruction for any of her children, she will have to ensure it is arranged well in advance.

“It will be a chance for the teachers to support their students and have a positive impact,” says Janice Caton, Board of Education vice-chair and education committee chair.

The school calendar has been in the making since November 2012. The calendar committee worked with all stakeholders before presenting the proposed 2013/14 calendar to senior district staff. Further consultation, required by Bill 36, for 30 days ended on March 28.

Due to spring break constraints, the need for public meetings, and Bill 36, the district sought and received a grace period to extend its calendar submission date from March 31 to April 12.

Feedback gathered from parents, teachers and staff was evaluated and presented to the school district trustees, from which they based their vote on the recommendation to endorse the 2013/14 school calendar.

Trustee Rick Grinham expressed appreciation to all who worked on the process. “It was very good process. It shows commitment to put a proper calendar together,” he said.

It was discussed and agreed that evaluation will be ongoing.

“We will be looking for definitive feedback for the January (2014) meeting,” Supt. Sherry Ellwood assured the board.

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