Richmond School District is looking at cementing the school calendar three years in advance.
The move follows the provincial government’s relaxation in December of the rules surrounding school calendars.
Since then, the district and school board have been in consultation with parents, students, teachers, staff and community organizations about setting the two-week spring break in stone.
The Board of Education’s chair, Donna Sargent, and superintendent, Monica Pamer, have also met with other Metro Vancouver school districts on the subject of three-year and balanced calendars.
And the upshot thus far is a consensus for a degree of certainty to be implanted into the calendar to allow people to plan with more confidence for the likes of vacations, babysitting, daycare and time off work.
“Given the consistent feedback from parents and staff to have a long-term, permanent and predictable Standard Calendar … it is recommended that serious consideration be given for the approval of the proposed three year school calendar,” wrote the district’s assistant superintendent, Wendy Lim, in her report, which was discussed Monday by the school board.
More public consultation will take place between now and the spring break before the board decides to implement a three-year calendar.
School board chair Donna Sargent said any three-year calendar would still be subject to change and wouldn’t be “100 per cent guaranteed.”
“Like everything else, it could come back to us every year to look at, but I think the if we give out this level of consistency to the public, it would difficult to change,” said Sargent.
And the whole discussion on a district and/or regional balanced calendar — whereby schools take three four-week breaks per year — may have to take a backseat should a three-year calendar be introduced.
“That is something we will have to discuss over the next few weeks,” added Sargent.
“We’ve had several discussions at a Metro level about everybody changing their calendars to be the same.
“Whether that’s a balanced calendar or not, I’m not sure. It is something that, within Metro, we’ve been talking about a lot.”