District returns spring break to one week

Enjoy your two weeks reprieve from school kids, because next year it’s back to one.

Enjoy your two weeks reprieve from school kids, because next year it’s back to one.

At Tuesday night’s board of education meeting, trustees unanimously voted to revert spring break back to one week.

For now.

The reasons behind this year’s two-week break were the result of budgetary issues. Last year the school district was facing a $5 million budget shortfall and needed to come up with cost-saving measures.

An added week of spring break saved the district an estimated $300,000 to $400,000.

But it was never intended to be permanent.

“When we went to the extra week, we said it was a one-time phenomena because of the financial situation,” said superintendent Corinne McCabe.

“It was never intended to be a long-term change.”

Every year boards of education are required to approve a new school calendar. Whether they go with the standard calendar, which includes a one-week spring break, or an alternate calendar is the board’s decision.

And while the trustees unanimously voted to go back to a one-week spring break, some were in favour of again bringing about an extended spring break at a later date.

Trustee Heather Maahs would like to see spring break bookended onto the Easter long weekend to give staff and students a bit longer of a break without staff having to lose pay and parents having to struggle for daycare.

(Some CUPE members lost a week’s pay with the extended spring break.)

Trustees Silvia Dyck and Louise Piper both expressed interest in implementing a balanced calendar, which would involve shortening summer break as a way of extending spring break.

“There’s a ton of research that speaks to summer being too long for at-risk students,” said Piper. “If we’re going to look at the calendar, let’s look at the whole calendar … I think we need a broader scope beyond spring break.”

This year’s spring break is from March 14 to March 25.

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