SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 73 (KAMLOOPS/THOMPSON)
March 14, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SD73 Board of Education Approves Calendar with Return to One-Week Spring Break
Kamloops, BC – The Board of Education for School District 73, at its regular Board meeting on Monday March 13, 2017, passed a new school calendar for the next 3 school calendar years 2017/18 to 2019/20. In accordance with the Collective Agreement currently in place between the District and the Kamloops Thompson Teacher’s Association (KTTA), the new school calendar reflects a return to one week spring breaks for the coming three years.
This decision does not have any impact on the scheduled spring break ( March 20 – March 31, 2017) taking place this school year.
Although the last three school years included a two week spring break, this extended spring break was only possible because of a Letter of Agreement executed between the school district, CUPE and KTTA in 2014. The Letter of Agreement allowed for a ‘trial period’ of two week spring breaks for up to three years. This trial period expires in 2017. Therefore, in order to continue with two week spring breaks within the school calendar, the District and the KTTA would need to renegotiate the length of spring break and related number and length of instructional days within the Collective Agreement currently in place.
The Board of Education expressed appreciation for all the feedback that has been received from teachers, staff, parents, students and the wider community on the topic of the length of spring break and considered this feedback in approving the new school calendar. That said, the Board also recognized the vital importance of honouring its current Collective Agreement with the unions – an Agreement which currently allows for one week spring break. As such, they have directed SD73 administration and staff to work with the KTTA to explore opportunities to renegotiate the Collective Agreement related to length of spring break.
Meghan Wade, Chair of the Board, says the decision taken was thoughtful and prudent. “The Board heard from many the preference for a two week spring break and has asked staff to negotiate such an agreement with the union. It does not close the door to extended spring breaks in the future but recognizes the importance of honouring collective agreements and following the negotiation process.” When discussing this topic at their meeting on Monday March 13, the SD73 Board members instructed administration and staff, as part of any renegotiation of the Collective Agreement to not compromise on the number of days and quality of instruction to students within the school district but to look for creative solutions.
For further information, please contact:
Superintendent of Schools
School District No. 73 (Kamloops/Thompson)