Submitted by School District 73
Students and families from the Kamloops-Thompson School District will now be able to join their families and friends in the rest of the province on a two-week spring break.
School District 73 Board of Education, the Kamloops Thompson Teachers’ Association (KTTA) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees 3500 (CUPE) have agreed to the terms of an additional week for spring break.
The province gives school districts authority to determine their own calendars. They must ensure students receive a minimum number of instructional hours each school year.
Results from the KTTA’s vote showed 96 per cent were in favour of a longer break.
To meet the minimum number of instructional hours required by the ministry and accommodate the two-week spring break, the duration of instructional days will increase for the 2021-2022 school year. The additional instructional time will come at the end of the school day, not through a shortened lunch break.
Ninety-five per cent of CUPE members also voted in favour over the weekend.
For CUPE, the terms include increasing the time worked each day, then banking those hours so there is no lost time for the hundreds of support staff employed by SD73. While an extended spring break has been discussed, the pandemic was an opportune time to rekindle the discussion in earnest. As one of only two districts in the province with a one-week spring break, it was found that with the additional pressures of COVID-19, SD73 school staff and families were disadvantaged.
The calendars proposed for the next three years will be posted to sd73.bc.ca for 30 days in order to receive feedback before being forwarded to the Minister of Education for approval.
The dates for the proposed extended spring break are:
March 21- April 1, 2022 for the 2021–2022 school year; March 20 – March 31, 2023 for the 2022-2023 school year; and March 18 – April 2, 2024 for the 2023-2024 school year.