Spring-break decision still up in air

Two-week holiday in hands of unions

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
January 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Whatever decision school trustees make on a two-week spring break hinges on the support of the unions, the head of the Kamloops-Thompson School District said Thursday.

Terry Sullivan will present trustees with two options during a school board meeting Monday night. One will be to stick with the current one-week spring break; the other is to expand it by a week.

"So the board can determine whether they want to stay with what we have, or whether they want to proceed with a two-week spring break," said Sullivan.

Sullivan and trustees are still waiting for feedback from the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers' Association. He said a last meeting with teachers takes place Monday morning.

"If they are not supportive of it, then we'll stay with what we have. If they are, we'll see how we can move that forward," said Sullivan.

Trustees contacted by The Daily News on Thursday said they would wait and hear what union officials think before making a final decision.

"We're still waiting on the unions," said board vice chairwoman Kathleen Karpuk. "Until they give us a yes, we can't go forward with it."

An official with the teachers' union could not be reached for comment, but the association has suggested there are concerns about a loss of instructional time.

CUPE Local 3500 president John Hall said he didn't make a written submission, but has discussed concerns with administrators.

The union feared the longer break was a cost-saving measure by the district. Hall has been assured this is not the case, and he believes that, he said.

"It's not just another week holiday. There are things they are planning for the kids to do," said Hall.

The school district plans to partner with daycares, the Boys and Girls Club and 4H to provide activities and take the pressure off parents who can't afford extra day care.

"I think they are approaching it the right way," said Hall.

If approved, the district will shorten the lunch hour to make up for lost class time.


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