Saanich school district gets 2-week spring break in 2013

Saanich school district trustees vote in favour of two week spring break next year as cost saving measure

A handful of kids enjoy the playground at Keating elementary. The play equipment will be unused for an extra week next year since the Saanich school board opted to extend spring break by a week.

A handful of kids enjoy the playground at Keating elementary. The play equipment will be unused for an extra week next year since the Saanich school board opted to extend spring break by a week.

Students on the Peninsula will have a longer spring break next year.

In response to budget pressures, the Saanich school district voted to approve a two week spring break for students in 2013.

Some trustees however, felt they would be better served waiting as proposed Bill 36 could see altered school calendars.

“One or two trustees were not in favour of two week spring break,” said board chair Wayne Hunter. “They felt we should wait until we have a full review of that, which will take a while.”

As well, some felt the longer break wasn’t an advantage to education.

“Some felt the two weeks was educationally beneficial and would help align [with other districts],” Hunter said. They’re finding kids already missing from classes during the Victoria district’s extra week. “That gives families a little bit more of an alternative,” he said.

The decision came as the school board hoped to find $2.9 million to balance the 2012-13 budget.

“The other factor was of course the $150,000 we feel we will save. … we needed that room in our budget this year and probably next year,” Hunter added. “However, each calendar year must be reviewed in May of every year.”

The 2013-14 spring break will be reassessed next year.

Because dates were identified in information that went out to the public, the board opted to stick with those dates, March 11 to 22. That means everyone is back in school for four days before heading into Easter break.

“It’s a little complicated there, but if we stay with two week spring break we want to align with everybody in the province,” Hunter said.

 

More on this story:

Trustees weigh budget saving options

Editorial: Families will feel effects of two week spring break