Show work behind changes to calendar

Kamloops Daily News
December 14, 2013 01:00 AM

If it seems like life is moving faster and faster these days, you have your local governments to thank for it, in part.

First, there was the City of Kamloops getting its 2014 budget discussions underway extremely early, leading to a provisional tax increase announcement a full month earlier than usual this fall.

Now the Kamloops Thompson School District has gotten into the act of getting the word out early on potential changes to the 2014-2015 school calendar.

As superintendent of schools Terry Sullivan pointed out in Friday's Daily News, parents often ask a year ahead of time about school breaks in order to plan their own vacation requests.

With a substantial change on the horizon - the extension of spring break by a full week - the early notice to parents makes even more sense. Two-week spring breaks are more the norm than the exception now across B.C., but it will take some adjusting.

Kudos to the school board for thinking of parental needs in getting the word out early.

However, they also need to prove that this won't represent a reduction in quality education.

The plan is to make up a week of instructional time by lengthening each school day by nine minutes - carved off the lunch hour so as not to impact school start and end times.

While nine minutes a day for 181 instructional days may allow the school district to ensure the required number of instructional hours are being met, it's still five fewer days in school than before.

We encourage the school district to demonstrate that the proposed new distribution of
instructional time provides just as much quality as quantity.

We're not saying it isn't there, but the board, in asking for feedback from parents, teachers and support staff, should make its case, citing whatever research exists on the quality of education in a lengthened school day to make up for a smaller number of instructional days.

In short, don't just answer the question; show your work.

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