Langley considers year-long school schedule
CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:45PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:46PM PST
Langley parents are being asked whether or not they want to do away with summer vacation and send their kids to school throughout the entire year.
Langley’s school board held a meeting with parents Tuesday to consider getting rid of the traditional 10-week summer vacation and staggering holidays through the year, meaning kids would attend classes for three months on and then one month off.
Other options discussed were shortening the summer break and adding the additional time onto the winter and spring breaks, or just to keep the status quo.
Lorraine Baldwin, a Langley parent advisory council member, said despite wanting things to stay the way they are, she was happy the school district started a conversation on a year-round schedule.
“It really triggered us to do a lot of research,” she said. “For every study out there that shows there’s benefit, there’s one or two that show there’s no educational benefit at all.”
Baldwin said many parents on the council don’t want “change just for the sake of change” and oppose a change in schedule.
“Canada has a very small window of opportunity for nice weather,” she said. “Why would we put our children inside on nice sunny days and out on cold rainy days?”
But others suggest two-and-a-half months away from the classroom during summer break can cause kids to forget what they’ve learned the previous year, leading to learning challenges for the year ahead.
Abbotsford School Superintendant Kevin Godden said his district is also considering an altered school calendar that would consist of four longer breaks and an earlier start to the school year.
“The idea is to try to mitigate what we call learning setbacks,” he said. “Students away from learning for an extended period of time, research shows they don’t perform as well.”
Godden said a balanced calendar could provide more continuity of learning, “but really we need to talk to the public about that.”
B.C. Education Minister Don McRae said the province is leaving the decision to alter the school calendar up to the districts “to make sure that they provide an educational program that meets the needs of their constituents.”
School districts on the North Shore and Coquitlam are also seeking input from parents on the subject.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Brent Shearer