Stylish calendars

WRPS approves 2022/23 schedules with fall break

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The Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools Division is modifying school calendars for next year.

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Following consultations with stakeholders, families, and staff, WRPS administrators voted to change the school calendar to include a fall break.

“A slight majority indicated a preference for a fall break in November,” the superintendent said. Peter Barron, noting that 144 staff participated and 141 parents.

The results showed that 51.8% of the parents preferred the schedule with the extended autumn holidays and 55.6% of the staff.

“Which I find rather good, actually.”

Among those who did not want it, the staff did not want to return to work on August 24 and preferred to start later.

For those in favor of a fall break, most employees are already gearing up by August 24 anyway.

“The rationale for these three days was the feedback we received from staff,” Barron said. “Having three days makes a lot of sense. Managers demanded it. »

Others thought that in November most students and staff were ready for a break and that it would prevent burnout.

” Nothing is perfect. I don’t know if there is a perfect calendar. This will meet the needs of some families more than others,” said Barron, noting that families and staff indicated that it would reduce some attendance issues during the winter months, as it would allow families to travel during the winter months. off-peak hours.

A fall break is consistent with other school divisions in Alberta, including neighboring Black Gold School Division.

Others who took part in the survey said that an autumn break disrupts routines that are just beginning to be established in November and that a longer summer break is more of a reminder than a break in November. .

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Some families would not send their children back to school until after the Labor Day long weekend and others felt that a full five-day week of instruction during the first week of classes was too much for students.

Other considerations are to make December 23, instead of December 24, the first day of winter vacation.

“I think that makes sense. It’s close to Christmas and I think people are enjoying the day to travel to see family.

They also changed the schedule to have an organization day at the end of the school year.

They did not lengthen the school day by a few minutes to create extra days in November and start school later in August.

National Aboriginal Day is now a designated PD day. This would allow students to have a day off to celebrate, while staff could focus on cultural learnings that day, Barron said.

“We thought it was a good idea and I think it was a good Division statement.”

Students will now benefit from the November 1 holiday.

“I think the staff will appreciate that.”

They also chose not to move spring break to the first week of April to tie it to Easter.

When it comes to the changed schedule, which impacts Gwynne, Alder Flats, Winfield, Lakedell, Pipestone and Griffiths-Scott schools, survey respondents were given three options to consider.

They include school continuing to end two weeks earlier than the regular schedule; ten additional long weekends throughout the school year and an extended autumn break in November with a two-week spring break.

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Among the respondents, 67.3% want school to continue to end two weeks earlier than the regular calendar.

Indeed, the weather is better in June than in November and the last two weeks of June are not optimal times to learn.

As for the native families, they often attend sun dances in the last two weeks of June, so the students are not in school anyway.

Those in favor of version two believe that shorter breaks decrease student learning.

Respondents in favor or against the third version, with the fall break, had similar reasons to those who were in favor of the fall break on the regular schedule.

After Barron’s presentation, administrators voted in favor of the regular learning schedule which will see staff return on August 24, with students returning to class from August 29-31 and then being away for the holiday long weekend. work. A fall break is scheduled for November 7-11, with students also off on November 1.

The winter holidays will begin on December 23 and classes will resume on January 9. Spring Break will be March 24-31.

The last day of classes is June 27.

On the modified schedule, breaks and non-student days are the same as the regular schedule, with students ending the school year on June 14.

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