July 08, 2015 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS – The two-week spring break is likely here to stay.
Of the parents surveyed, 59 per cent were in favour of the two-week break while teachers reported no “backward slide” after the two weeks and thought students were healthier physically and enthusiastic.
School board chair Denise Harper admits the original idea was met with trepidation, but the timing of this experiment was slightly worse as it fell during the year of a teacher’s strike.
“I look forward to how it will work out in the coming school year during labour peace,” she says.
The idea of a two week break was seriously looked in 2013, when each district received authority to vary its own calendar. Many of the districts in B.C. now offer a two-week break.
Harper says the board negotiated a three-year deal with the teacher’s union for a two-week break but expects they will be able to come to a permanent arrangement.
Part of the plan when introducing the longer break was to survey parents after the break was over and to offer programs during the two weeks.
Harper says not only did the board realize programs were 'horrifically expensive,' very few elementary students were interested and high school students; even less.
“Shocking students didn’t want to participate in math courses over the break,” she says with a laugh.
Because of 'bad feelings to address at the beginning of the year,' the parent survey almost never happened either. But because the board had already committed, Harper says they decided to go through with it.
“You could almost anticipate people wouldn’t necessarily embrace (the new break),” she says.
It was her opinion that reasons against were a combination of strike related — children missing too many hours of instruction, and the costs associated to daycare for working parents.
Harper says the board is committed, however, to the three-year deal but promises to evaluate once more when this time is up.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015