At a special meeting of the School District 5, Southeast Kootenay (SD5) Board of Education, following their regular February committee meetings, the Board voted unanimously to accept its first two-year calendar for the upcoming 2016 – 2017 and the 2017 – 2018 school years. Up to now, calendar development has been a yearly process for the Board.
The government legislates –to the minute—exactly how many hours of instruction they require and for which they will provide funding. These requirements are different for kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary students. It is up to Boards of Education to determine which days and minutes in a year will provide that instruction.
According to Board Chair, Frank Lento, while it may sound like a pretty straightforward process, creating a calendar that accommodates government, teachers, support workers and statutory holiday requirements while maximizing student success is a time-consuming process.
“To do this requires back-and-forth consultation with staff, administration, parents and other stakeholder groups that may be affected by our final calendar. We wanted to develop a multi-year calendar to cut down on the number of hours this process requires, which has resulted in the District’s first two-year calendar.”
Lento says that while a three-year calendar was the initial goal, it was simply not possible to plan that far ahead while still maintaining flexibility. In the end, a two-year calendar satisfied both Board and stakeholder concerns.
The SD5 2016 – 2017 and 2017 – 2018 Annual School Calendars can be found on the SD5 website at sd5.bc.ca.