December 9, 2015
As you are aware, British Columbia’s school curriculum has been redesigned to respond to the demanding world our students are entering and to provide the knowledge and tools they will need to be successful in the 21st century. This shift is similar to what is happening globally in response to economic and societal changes.
On September 28th, the Honourable Mike Bernier, Minister of Education and Jim Iker, President of the BC Teachers’ Federation announced a three year support plan to help teachers deliver the curriculum efficiently and effectively in their classrooms.
A significant aspect of this announcement is that teachers will be provided time to be trained on and to collaborate with their colleagues regarding the new curriculum. Ten new hours, equivalent to two school days, of non-instructional time are being designated for teachers this year so that they can become familiar with the new curriculum. This will require changes to our existing 2015/2016 school calendar.
The school district's calendar committee, consisting of stakeholders from district parents, students, principals/vice principals, support staff, teachers and senior management, met to collaborate on possible options. It was determined that the ten new hours would be added to the calendar in the form of one full-day and two half-days of non-instructional time.
In order to provide parents and guardians ample notice for childcare and other family arrangements, the following days will be non-instructional days for all students in School District 72.
Monday, February 22 – Full day
Friday, March 11 – half day in the afternoon
Friday, April 22 – half day in the afternoon
On March 11 and April 22 students will be dismissed at the start of their regular lunch break. Some bus students will be dismissed earlier to accommodate the following bus pick up times:
Elementary Schools 11:35 a.m.
École Phoenix Middle School 12:10 p.m.
Southgate Middle School 11:55 p.m.
Carihi Secondary 12:16 p.m.
Timberline Secondary 12:05 pm
A new school calendar for 2015/2016 reflecting these additional non-instructional days has been posted to our school district website. To learn more about the new BC curriculum, visit https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/sites/curriculum.gov.bc.ca/files/pdf/faq.pdf. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Thomas G.S. Longridge
Superintendent and CEO