Clearview schools will start year later

JULIE BERTRAND / Independent reporter

Clearview’s board of trustees approved the master calendar for the 2011-2012 school year after introducing a few modifications to accommodate requests with regard to the start of the academic year and Christmas holidays.

“Basically, it was a response from the communities and staff asking if they could start a little later and could they start the Christmas break a little later and come back a little later in January,” explained John Bail, superintendent of schools

“The board considered those requests and made changes accordingly.“

Under the changes, the first teacher day when the teaching staff reports for work will be later, on Aug. 29 instead of Aug. 25, as was written in the calendar draft.

“The first teachers’ day is tied in with the day the students start and every year, we hear from parents that they would like the students not to start until after Labour Day,” said Bailey.

The first student day will now be after Labour Day, on Sept. 6, instead of Sept. 1.

“It makes it very hard in years when Labour Day is late, like this year it was Sept. 6,” said Bailey.

“We have to get in so many days between then and June and it makes it tough to keep all the holidays that people like too.”

The Christmas break will start and end later, from Dec. 22 to Jan. 3, instead of Dec. 17 to Jan. 1 as previously scheduled in the draft.

“Many people expressed the thought that having Dec. 16 as the last day before the Christmas break was too early and coming on Jan. 2 was too soon,” said Bailey.

“They wanted a couple more days at the other end.”

As a result of teachers and students starting school later, the Christmas break was shortened from two weeks to one and half weeks. Moreover, next year’s April 10 professional development day for teachers will now be a regular school day.

According to Bailey, developing the school year calendar was a challenging task.

“It required balancing numerous and often competing demands,” said Bailey.