The Board of School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) approved the 2023-24 school year calendar at its meeting Tuesday evening at the District Education Support Centre (DESC), with one change from the draft calendar brought to the Board in February.
A survey (which opened immediately after the February Board meeting) about the proposed calendar collected some 261 comments and a change was made to reflect some of the responses, which was to move observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation from the Friday to the Monday, to better align with other BC school districts and businesses.
The general themes were:
- Most comments were positive or accepting (i.e., looks fine).
- Feedback that other employers/organizations are observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Monday, October 2nd, and not Friday, September 29th as was submitted in the draft calendar.
- Significant discussion about the placement of Winter Break. Most in favour of the new placement for this year, others wished it would remain the same.
- Some discussion about the return to a half-day first day of school as was the norm prior to last year. Most were in favour of this return; others prefer a full-day first day as in the 2022-2023 school year.
- Comments both for and against having Pro-D days up against long weekends.
- Some suggestions were not supported by the North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers’ Association (NOSTA)/SD83 Collective Agreement.
- Overall, more comments than in previous surveys.
In response to the feedback, and in consultation with NOSTA, a change was made to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, moving it to Monday, Oct. 2 rather than Friday, Sept. 29. This is also consistent with many other districts in the province.
Now the calendar has been approved, school principals will determine their bell schedule in collaboration with their staff and stakeholders, while adhering to the School Calendar Regulation as well as organizational constraints, such as the transportation schedule.