Students in the Comox Valley will enjoy a two-week spring break for the next four school years.
At its January meeting, the School District 71 board unanimously approved recommendations from its District Calendar Committee to adopt a school calendar for the next three years that features two-week spring breaks.
The decision was based on a recent survey that garnered 1,182 respondents from the community.
Seventy-six per cent of respondents were in favour of a two-week break, while 24 per cent were in favour of a one-week break, according to SD71 spokeswoman Mary Lee.
“With these results, it’s very clear what the community at large is in favour of,” she said. “Historically, this school district has always preferred a two-week spring break.”
In order to still have the province’s required number of instructional hours, elementary schools in the Comox Valley will have to extend their school days by two minutes per day in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and by five minutes per day in 2020-21.
Secondary schools in the Valley will not need to change their daily schedules to fit with the board’s decision.
The B.C. Ministry of Education mandates 843 instructional hours for kindergarten students per school year, 868 hours for students in grades 1 to 7, and 942 hours for students in grades 8 to 12.
Lee says the board’s decision will offer some longer-term predictability and stability in the school calendar.
“It gives parents, teachers and the community plenty of notice so they can make travel plans and family plans. Not just for the next year but for the three years,” she said.
Spring break for SD71 students will take place from March 26 until April 6.