A seismic shift in the foundation of many people's daily lives could be about to shake down after the B.C. government decided last week to allow school districts to switch to a balanced calendar.
The move could result in a dramatic change from a traditional school schedule to a year-round timetable, which could create a wave of wide-ranging effects that would ripple beyond students, parents and teachers and into the community at large.
Should Richmond School District decide to slide over to a balanced calendar - or "year-round" schooling, as it's called - any transformation is likely years, and not months, away.
If it does go ahead, it may be modelled on the city's Spul'u'kwuks elementary, which has been operating successfully on the balanced calendar since 2004.
Spul'u'kwuks runs on three three-month educational sessions with three one month-long vacation breaks in April, August and December.
See pages 3 and 4 for the first of two special editions, where the News looks at the pros and cons of the balanced calendar through the eyes of an education expert and a family which has experienced both schedules.
Next week, we'll profile the schools already offering a balanced calendar, what teachers feel about the possible change and how the school district intends to approach the whole issue in the coming months.