Students to enjoy two weeks of spring freedom

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KAMLOOPS — You asked, the school district answered. After hearing the public, teachers and staff sound off, a two week spring break is on the books for next school year.

The discussion became serious about a year ago with several people asking about the possibility after the province granted each district the responsibility to set its own calendar.

Staff went ahead with putting together a proposal that would meet the needs of staff and teacher contracts. In December the new calendar was presented for approval featuring a few extra minutes of instructional time each school day and a full two weeks of spring break.

Before the calendar could be finalized by the Jan. 31 deadline, the unions needed to approve the changes, and they did early last month.

The agreement is currently for a three year term, 2014-2017, and includes slightly shorter lunch breaks at all grade levels to meet the educational requirements. Sun Peaks Elementary will still face further research and public input before implementation of a two week break.

A district committee will also be put together to review the implementation of the new calendar and will report findings by the end of the 2014-2015 school year and administration will work with staff and community organizations, including groups like YMCA and the university, to put together programming for students during the spring break period.

In agreeing to a two week break School District 73 joins two-thirds of other districts in the province in having a longer break, including the Okanagan, Shuswap and Nicola regions.

Board trustees Annette Glover, Kathleen Karpuk and Cara McKelvey voted against the motion and Meghan Wade was absent.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

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