Comox Valley parents have just a couple days left to submit their comments about proposed changes to the school calendar.
The draft 2013/14 calendar looks similar to this year’s calendar with a two-week spring break and a two-week winter break, but the calendar includes one big change — 15 Wednesdays over the year would be PLC (Professional Learning Community)/X Block days throughout the school district.
According to a FAQ sheet on the district’s website, PLCs involve an ongoing process allowing educators to work collaboratively in teams in an effort to improve student learning.
“We believe that by giving educational staff collaborative time we will be far more effective in helping students learn,” reads the district’s FAQ page. “The collective educational wisdom of a staff outweighs that of any single staff member working in isolation in a classroom.”
X-Blocks can give students 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.
X-Blocks and PLCs have already been implemented in a number of district schools, including all three secondary schools.
The public has until March 28 to provide feedback on the proposed calendar via the school district’s website at www.sd71.bc.ca. The feedback will be compiled for the Board of Education to consider before making its decision April 8 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. at the school board office at 607 Cumberland Rd. in Courtenay.
The meeting will be open to the public and is scheduled simply to deal with the calendar before the deadline for submission to the Ministry of Education, because the regular board meeting in April is too late.
The draft calendar was first presented at the February Board of Education meeting, and the March education committee meeting featured a Q & A panel for parents to ask questions.