November 20, 2012 - 3:49 PM
One B.C. student could be on summer vacation while another is hard at work in the classroom, according to new provincial legislation.
Beginning July 1, 2013, school districts will be allowed to set their own calendars, following new regulations set out by the Ministry of Education last week.
The regulation shifts that power from the ministry to the districts, restricted only by minimum classroom hours determined by grade levels.
A government information bulletin provided to school districts says “boards will be required to submit their calendars to the ministry for review and may submit calendars for up to three consecutive years at one time. Each school calendar should cover at least 12 consecutive months.”
The bulletin also set a minimum of 853 hours is required for kindergarten students, 878 hours is required for Grades 1 through 7 and 952 hours is required for Grades 8 through 12.
Each district must submit school calendars and any amendments to the ministry after making a proposed calendar publicly available to parents and board employees for consultation.
Terry Sullivan, School District 73’s superintendent of schools, recommended at the Nov. 19 board meeting that the information be referred to the education committee.
"There's a lot of unanticipated consequences that could flow from this," he said.
Boards across the province are expected to complete calendars for the 2013-2014 school year by March 31, 2013. Boards must make proposed calendars public on or before Feb. 28.
— Jessica Wallace
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012