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Aspen View Public Schools 2018-19 School Calendar approved

Aspen View Public Schools 2018-19 School Calendar approved

Board commits to approving future calendars earlier, and presenting two or more years at a time

Following a review of stakeholder feedback and information from administration, the Board of Trustees of Aspen View Public Schools approved the 2018-19 School Calendar during its March 1, 2018 meeting at Vilna School.

The approved 2018-19 School Calendar, now available on the Aspen View Public Schools website (www.aspenview.org), has the first day of classes on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. The 2018-19 calendar also maintains periodic Friday staff work days, a November break (November 12-16, 2018) and a spring break (March 25-29, 2019).

Aspen View Public Schools received 22 stakeholder submissions regarding the draft 2018-19 school calendar; 12 respondents identified as parents, seven as teachers (some of whom may also be parents), and three were consensus responses from school staff teams. A majority of the parent respondents indicated a preference for a post-Labour Day start to the school year, while a majority of teacher respondents indicated a preference to maintain the November break.

As Superintendent Mark Francis explained at the March 1 meeting, recent school calendars have been based largely on the work of Aspen View’s ‘C2 Committee’, which the Government of Alberta mandated for all school divisions in December 2014 to review working conditions. In Aspen View, a C2 Committee comprised of teachers, administration and trustees recommended changes to the calendar that replaced ‘early out’ staff meeting days with full professional development/staff work days; and introduced a November break. Francis noted that a growing number of school divisions now incorporate a November break, and indicated that in order for the Board of Trustees to maintain a November break, a pre-Labour Day start-up is necessary to meet the legally required minimum instructional minutes.

Some stakeholder feedback requested moving the November break earlier to accommodate agricultural and extra-curricular sports events; trustees determined that doing so was not feasible in 2018-19 due to scheduled diploma exam dates (November 2-9, 2018). However, they indicated that should Alberta Education provide more flexibility regarding diploma exam schedules, they would be willing to address a rescheduled November break in future years.

Trustees also committed, with the support of administration, to amending policy regarding the school calendar. Currently, policy states that the upcoming school calendar must be approved by April 30; trustees reached consensus that approval earlier in the school year would be more appropriate. As well, trustees and administration agreed to, in future years, present draft school calendars for at least two years at a time, in order to better identify potential scheduling issues and give stakeholders additional prior notice. These proposed changes will be reviewed by the board’s Policy Committee later this year.