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Northwest B.C. schools to continue two-week break

PARENTS, students, teachers and school district employees can look forward to another school year with a two-week spring break.

The Coast Mountains School District (CMSD) board voted last night to send the proposed 2013-2014 school calendar to the Ministry of Education after hearing mostly positive feedback from the community -- 82.4 per cent of respondents were in favour of the calendar, with 17.6 per cent against.

Public feedback on the calendar, which includes another school year with a two-week spring break, was requested during the month of February, with options for the public to complete an online survey or send comments directly to the district office.

Of the 172 people who completed the survey, the majority were from Terrace and Thornhill, with 47.1 per cent and 30.5 per cent respectively. Eleven and a half per cent of respondents were from Hazelton, 10.3 per cent from Kitimat, 0.6 per cent from Stewart, and no responses from Kitwanga.

The majority of survey respondents, 133 people or 76 per cent, have children who will be attending school in the district next year.

And a healthy number of respondents, 68, or 39.5 per cent, noted they are employees of the Coast Mountains School District. School board chair Art Erasmus took time out during the meeting to thank staff for their feedback.

While school trustee Raymond Raj expressed thanks to the public who completed the survey and provided feedback. He also came to the meeting bringing news from the recent British Columbia School Trustee's Association (BCSTA) meeting, where the body carried a motion asking the government to go back to the old requirement for school calendar submissions. Before, they were due at the end of May, while now they are due March 31.

This raised questions in the community, as during the public commenting period the public was being asked if they were in favour of a second year with a two-week spring break before experiencing the first.

But this wasn't something the board was in control of, explained Raj, noting he'd field many questions from parents on the matter.

"We have to follow the law," he said.

Respondents to the survey voted 84.2 per cent in favour of a two-week spring break next year, with 15.8 per cent against.

The survey also asked how many respondents have children who will ride the bus to and from school next year. Those results were nearly even, with 46.7 per cent answering yes and 53.3 per cent answering no.

 

 

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