News

Two years in, few complaints about two-week spring break

Students and school staff will soon be enjoying two weeks vacation from classes, as the second year of an extended spring break starts next week across the Greater Victoria School District.

Despite an increased demand on some parents to secure childcare, school board chairman Tom Ferris says the move from one to two weeks off school each March has been well-received, with little negative feedback from parents.

The decision was based partially on the number of medical absences, which tend to run high this time each year, he noted.

“Students and staff often took off more time so that they could recover, which was probably a good decision from an academic point of view, so that we could come back rested, ready to work and ready to learn.”

There’s a good chance students who aren’t battling seasonal bugs will be in day camp or activity programs through Saanich Recreation. Fifteen per cent more youth are registered in spring break programs this year than last, with nearly every spring break program at Commonwealth Place, as well as Pearkes and Gordon Head recreation centres accepting wait lists.

Staffing appropriately to handle the influx of students has proven to be the biggest challenge for recreation programmers.

“A large majority of our camp staff are university students who do not have a break during spring break, which makes it challenging for us to find qualified staff to accommodate our growing wait lists,” said Kathryn Allan, school-age and off-site programmer for Commonwealth.

Students in the Saanich School District do not have the longer break, with their week off running from March 21-25. When both districts are on break, Allan says, the demand for recreation programming spikes.

Limited spaces are still available at some camps. For more information or to register online, visit saanich.ca/parksandrec and find the Active Living Guide under the recreation link.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

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