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Balanced Calendar Committee CUPE, SPEAC, SPVP, and district Administration were represented on this SD 62 Board committee. May 2013 Purpose of the Committee:

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Presentation on theme: "Balanced Calendar Committee CUPE, SPEAC, SPVP, and district Administration were represented on this SD 62 Board committee. May 2013 Purpose of the Committee:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Balanced Calendar Committee CUPE, SPEAC, SPVP, and district Administration were represented on this SD 62 Board committee. May 2013 Purpose of the Committee: To research the affects of a balanced calendar in terms of student successes

2 Submission to Ministry May 31 (last year) March 31 (new legislation) Consult to Public Not prescribed30 days prior submission date Elementary ~ Instructional time 1425 minutes/per week 883 hours/ per year Kindergarten 853 hours / per year Middle ~ Instructional time 1515 minutes/per week Gr. 1 to 7 878 hours / per year Secondary ~ Instructional time 1545 minutes/ per week 958 hours/per year Gr. 8 to 12 952 hours / per year Ministry directions around calendars

3 Some of the terms you will hear around school calendars  Traditional – what we use now  Standard - what we use now  Modified – changes to standard or traditional  Balanced - even distribution of breaks  Year round - even distribution of breaks  Same number of school days in all

4 Traditional / Balanced  September start  Short break in December  Short break in March  June End  40 weeks in session  12 weeks break  Spread Evenly through the year  Many variations in practice today in Canada.

5 The many different calendar options that are available to schools in BC are endless. The following are just a few...

6 Calendar Comparisons The upcoming charts compare the distribution of days in school and days on break on the nine-month traditional calendar vs. the distribution of school days on a balanced or modified calendar. Weekends are excluded form the charts, with both models detailing a typical year of 258 work days (Monday through Friday). Both charts represent a standard school year of 180 days. SD 27-------SD 35 SD 38-------SD42

7 What we are used to  The traditional calendar features a long summer vacation of 9 weeks followed by a long period of in-session days, with the first break coming at Thanksgiving. The winter holidays are followed by 55 in-session days before a short spring break. Spring break is followed by 40 work days before the end of the school year.


9 One of many options  The balanced calendar reduces the long summer break and simply apportions those days throughout the school year, producing more frequent breaks and thus limiting long periods of in-session days, as well as longer vacations. Both calendars feature 180 days of instruction, with the modified calendar balancing the frequency of in- session days with days on break. The winter holiday and Thanksgiving break can be the same on both calendars



12 The following is a comparison of a traditional school calendar with the two most common versions of a balanced school calendar. Current Calendar 45/15 Balanced Calendar 45/10 Balanced Calendar 190 Teacher Days 180 Student Days No Fall Break 12-Day Winter Break 5-Day Spring Break 11-Week Summer Break 190 Teacher Days 180 Student Days 15-Day Fall Break 15-Day Winter Break 15-Day Spring Break 5-Week Summer Break 190 Teacher Days 180 Student Days 10-Day Fall Break 15-Day Winter Break 10-Day Spring Break 7- to 8-Week Summer Break For more very informative thoughts on balanced calendar go to

13 Comments from those who are working and attending Garden City Elem Richmond SD 38  We like the opportunities for our families to use our extended Winter and Spring Breaks to travel (we have many families with relatives outside of the country),  shorter summer break and longer other breaks are appreciated by both staff and students to provide a more balanced break situation.  The cons are that the extra week sometimes causes issues for families who need to cover day care (we work with our community centres to provide an extra week-but so few families need it that it hasn't run this year-which means it's not really an issue.  Summer school this year starts before we let out of school. Last year there was a separate summer school for our students, but this year the district was unable to provide this. Our students will be joining summer school classes after the other students (4 days after they start).  This is their third year with this calendar Roberta Bondar Elementary School Toronto, Ont.  Best kept secret  Given the direction to look for creative ways to make the public system stronger  Best for students- students like it- works best for everybody  Teachers really happy-relaxed and quality of teaching improves  Relationship between teachers and students more positive  Teaching during breaks for struggling students  Camps provided by Day care for breaks- some teachers worked at these camps  Survey done and parents, students and teachers like it (74%)  Students retain more  September- teachers do not have to spend as much time on review  Less teacher absence and burn-out  Less student absence  Teachers, students and parents want to be at the school  Works with second language schools- ESL- visiting students as the calendar is similar to Europe

14 Spul’u’kwuks Elem in Richmond SD 38  have been on a balanced calendar for 8 years, have one month breaks.  K - grade 7  People generally like it always full, with a waiting list  A few families are not embracing this program and go to other schools, often because the parents are educators in other districts.  Breaks are end of semesters  Students and staff return refreshed  Employees have the same contract as the rest of district  A challenge of being the only school on this schedule is getting district support for the school in the months when all other schools are closed. Parent comments  We can travel when the airports are empty  Very happy with the consistency of in school and out of school days  We can take advantage of off peak season rates for many family activities  My child is ready to go back to school at about the same time the break is over  Simple to plan around for appointments  Less odd days off through out the year, as pro D is often grouped with breaks  I have noticed that every time after a month-long break, we have a lot of sleepy kids the first week after each holiday, as they tend to slip on the sleeping hours during such a long break.

15  Continuity of Instruction=Quality  Students remain more interested in classes until end of grading period  Planning and Preparation  Intersession for Remediation and Enrichment  Improved attendance  Increased student retention and achievement rates  Fewer discipline problems  Decreased vandalism  More time for teachers to collaborate  Specialty and extra-curricular teachers can teach across the tracks  Reduces Summer Learning Loss  Benefits ESL students as they will have less learning loss during breaks  Because of shorter vacations, students spend less time reviewing material at the beginning of each  grading period  Improvement in Student and Teacher Attitude  Less Student and Teacher Burnout  Maximizes the use of school facilities  Easier for teachers to plan curriculum for shorter periods of time  Families can take vacations at less traveled times  Employees who live outside of SD 62 may be concerned if their work and vacation calendar does not match the school calendar that their own children must follow.  Many buildings do not have AC – we must consider the potential need to install air-conditioning on buses, in gymnasiums, and in the kitchens of some schools  Brother and sisters as well as children of teachers could all be on different schedules  Teachers may not be available to work summer jobs  Continuing education coursework for teachers may be difficult to pursue in the summer strengths concerns

16 The problem of summer vacation........ first documented in 1906, compounds year after year. What starts as a hiccup in a 6-year-old's education can be a crisis by the time that child reaches high school. After collecting a century's worth of academic studies, summer- learning expert Harris Cooper, now at Duke University, concluded that, on average, all students lose about a month of progress in math skills each summer, while low-income students slip as many as three months in reading comprehension, compared with middle-income students. Another major study, by a team at Johns Hopkins University, examined more than 20 years of data meticulously tracking the progress of students from kindergarten through high school. The conclusion: while students made similar progress during the school year, regardless of economic status, the better-off kids held steady or continued to make progress during the summer, but disadvantaged students fell back. By the end of grammar school, low-income students had fallen nearly three grade levels behind, and summer was the biggest culprit. By ninth grade, summer learning loss could be blamed for roughly two-thirds of the achievement gap separating income groups.

17 Student Successes  Students and staff are refreshed by the longer breaks which improves student success  Students at risk benefit most from the shorter breaks  Special needs students cope better with consistency  Research shows there is learning loss over longer break periods

18  Darren Russell is currently one of the Vice Principals at Belmont Secondary  He taught in a balanced school calendar in Perth, Australia during a teacher exchange in 1995  This school still maintains the same calendar today In closing….. a personal experience

19 T hank you for the opportunity to research and present findings around balanced calendars.

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