The Chinook School Division reached out to parents, staff and community members for input on the calendar for the 2015-16 school year.
"The Calendar Committee, that’s comprised of some staff and School Community Council members that looks at calendars every year, devised two calendar options," said Joanne Booth, Communications Coordinator for the School Division. "This year, one was the ‘Tornado’ calendar and one was the ‘Blizzard’ calendar, and both of those options are developed within the defined requirements that we were given."
An online survey opened in December which presented the two options, and Booth says the "Tornado" calendar was the one that was chosen.
"The ‘Tornado’ calendar is really more of a traditional calendar… We will have a September 1st start date, there will be a two-week Christmas break, a February break and an Easter break," she said. "The ‘Blizzard’ calendar had the two-week Christmas break, an extended February break and several long weekends scattered throughout the year. The Easter break wasn’t as long, as it only included the Monday and the Friday of the long weekend."
Booth adds both calendar options reflected a pre-Labour Day start after new provincial legislation amendments late last year.
"The government introduced legislation to amend the Education Act that will allow the school year to begin before Labour Day, whenever required," she added. "With the late Labour Day in 2015, which is September 7th, our calendar options had been developed with the amended legislation in mind, so September 1st is the start date, and that was the start date we’ve been given by the Ministry."
The calendar has been approved by the Chinook School Board, but still requires final approval by the Ministry of Education, which is expected in May.
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