Prince Rupert School District board trustees approved a two-week spring break for students in the 2016-17 school calendar year.

School board approves two-week spring break

The spring break saga in Prince Rupert has reached its end.

The spring break saga in Prince Rupert has reached its end.

At the last Prince Rupert School District (SD52) board meeting, board trustees took advantage of the opportunity to re-evaluate different calendar options for the 2016-17 school year and in a reversal of opinion to pass a one-week spring break for students, the trustees passed a calendar with the two-week break.

The passing didn’t come without its controversy, however.

After a March meeting, in which trustee members voted in favour of a one-week spring break (Prince Rupert is one of three districts in the province to have a one-week break, with the remaining 57 others having two), and explained their rationale based on how it may affect different members of the community including First Nations, feedback ranging from dignified to disrespectful poured in to the district opposing the one-week option, even including accusations of racism toward the board.

“[Our original decision] caused a lot of turmoil in our community and that wasn’t our intent whatsoever,” said trustee Terri-Lynne Huddlestone.

“The hurtfulness of the community and their words toward us as a board doing our job and what we’re elected to do has been very difficult.”

Trustees originally voting for one week cited declining student achievement in the district as well as former teacher support for the option as reasons in favour of the shorter span. After overwhelming support for the two-week break from almost all stakeholders including parents, students, and through a district-distributed survey, the board approved the longer two weeks off in a 5-1 vote, with trustee Louisa Sanchez the lone member voting against. Additionally, district teachers voted in favour of a second week school closure in March this year.

“I believe in fulfilling my responsibility in determining what’s best for students. I don’t believe I should be considering family vacations or extra-curricular, my focus is for children in the schools. I realize this will make me unpopular, however I’m not here for popularity I’m here to advocate for our students,” adding that her extensive research from the ministry and other districts (Haida Gwaii has one week) has led her to her conclusion.

“[Many alleged our] survey was not a good reflection of the community – that it was dance parents getting organized and making submissions. I say ‘So what?’ If it was good for them, they have the opportunity to submit as everyone did … What we’ve done buys into [the theory that data collectors don’t use survey data and have their minds made up anyway]. We disregarded the data we collected and we fired it out the window … and that was wrong of us. If we are not going to seriously consider information gathered in a survey we have no business conducting it in the first place,” said board chair Tina Last, adding that teachers teaching in half-empty classrooms in the adjacent week to the March break end up teaching the same material over again.

“What exactly can we use to deny the overwhelming support of a two-week spring break? We’ve got none,” said Last.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Most Read