Three school calendar options on the table

Representatives from the District Parents’ Advisory Council (DPAC) thanked the Abbotsford board of education on Monday night for considering a status quo option in the 2011-12 school calendar issue.

Representatives from the District Parents’ Advisory Council (DPAC) thanked the Abbotsford board of education on Monday night for considering a status quo option in the 2011-12 school calendar issue.

DPAC chair Bud Loewen and acting vice-chair Rhonda Pauls said they appreciated that the board added the option after all the delegations at a Feb. 21st board meeting opposed the proposed changes to the current calendar.

The school district also received more than 1,500 responses to a survey on the matter.

“The feedback has been overwhelming … the parents feel that is an excellent option you have given us,” Pauls said, referring to the latest proposal.

The new option maintains the current calendar, including a two-week spring break in March and a Christmas break that is aligned with the rest of the province.

It also continues to have an additional eight minutes added to each elementary school day and nine minutes at the secondary level.

That version will now be considered against the previous proposal, which calls for moving spring break to April, holding Christmas break later, and removing the extra minutes from each school day, resulting in six additional instructional days at an approximate cost of $409,000.

Also still an option is the ministry of education’s standard calendar, which offers a one-week spring vacation. A year ago, the Abbotsford board of education voted for a one-week break, but reversed the decision after public outcry.

Monday’s meeting was open to delegations to speak on the school calendar issue, but DPAC was the only one to appear.

The board of education will vote April 18 on which of the three calendars it will adopt. The meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 7:30 p.m. at the school district office, 2790 Tims St.

The public has until 3 p.m. on April 8 to respond to an online survey or to make a written submission. More details are available at the school district website, sd34.bc.ca.