Earlier start to school year among options considered

The Abbotsford board of education has two options under review for the 2013-14 school calendar.

A survey on two options being considered for the 2013-14 school calendar is currently being conducted by the Abbotsford board of education.

One choice is to maintain the status quo – school starting the day after Labour Day (Sept. 3, 2013) and a two-week spring break (March 17-28, 2014).

The alternative is to have an earlier start to the school year – Tuesday, Aug. 27 – and one day added to each of the four existing long weekends (in October, November, February and May) to create a “reading break.”

Under this option, spring break would also run from March 17 to 28.

The survey can be found on the school district website at sd34.bc.ca.

Meanwhile, those interested in speaking on the matter at the board’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26 are required to register before noon on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Registration can be done by contacting Denise Byle at 604-852-2366 (ext. 1241).

The board of education will vote on the matter at its regular meeting on March 12.

Many districts have established two-week vacations to cut costs. The estimated cost savings of having schools closed in Abbotsford for an additional week is $460,000.

The Abbotsford board of education faced a public backlash in 2010 when it voted to return to a one-week spring break the following year. Trustees later reversed that decision, and the two-week holiday remained.

The board again faced a public outcry in 2011, when it proposed moving spring break from March to April to coincide with the Easter long weekend, and holding Christmas vacation later.

Trustees again voted to maintain the status quo.