Chilliwack students get two weeks

Chilliwack board of education approved a two-week spring break for the 2014-15 school year.

Chilliwack students will once again be getting two weeks at spring break.

But only for one year.

Chilliwack Board of Education approved a temporary, two-week spring break for the 2014-15 school year.

Following a parent survey earlier this year that had a majority of respondents in favour of two weeks over one, four out of five school trustees voted in favour of a two-week break.

Trustee Doug McKay was the only trustee in opposition, while trustee Silvia Dyck was not in attendance.

Trustee Heather Maahs applauded the motion, noting it was probably overdue given that parent surveys completed in the 2011-12 school year indicated Chilliwack parents were in favour of a two-week spring break then, yet the board continued with the one-week break.

Trustee Barry Neufeld said it would put Chilliwack in line with other nearby school districts including Agassiz and Abbotsford.

“I think this will increase staff morale and probably cut back on absenteeism,” said Neufeld.

But trustee McKay said the one thing missing from the conversation was student education.

“I haven’t heard one thing on how this might impact student achievement… not one word,” he said. “And that saddens me greatly.”

The extended spring break will run from March 23 to April 2, with the addition of Good Friday being April 3.

Support staff in the district have been assured they will not be financially impacted by the two-week break, however those details have not yet been determined.

The decision to go two weeks is not a cost-savings measure, said Supt. Evelyn Novak, but rather a cost-neutral option.

The approval of the two-weeks is on a one-year only basis. The board will review the option again next year.