THE COAST Mountains school district will adopt a two-week spring break for the upcoming school year.
At a monthly school board meeting last night trustees voted unanimously in favour of the longer break, which had been brought to public consultation at meetings earlier this month in Terrace, Kitimat and Hazelton.
Saying the public response to the two-week break was largely positive, Kitimat trustee Ray Raj brought the motion forward.
“This is not a money saving thing,” Raj said, noting that the change would be approved for only for one year right now.
The issue was brought up at the March school board meeting because a two-week break would offer students and their families more time to travel or leave the area. Concerns on parents and guardians finding alternative care for their children was also discussed.
However, support for the additional time off was largely positive during the public consultations, prompting the board to go ahead with the amended calendar.
Stewart trustee Shannon McFee said for her community the two-week break received huge support because of the high travel costs to leave Stewart.
Terrace and District Teachers’ Union president Karen Andrews said teachers support the two-week spring break, noting that this school district is one of the few in the province that wasn’t already offering one.
“Because we are remote it’s so hard to get away,” Andrews said, noting this is especially true for Stewart students who have to travel for a day before they even reach an airport.
Newly-sworn in Kitimat trustee Linda Campbell asked if non-teaching staff paid by the hour would be affected, and board chair Art Erasmus said an agreement had been made with their union, the Canadian Union of Public Employers, so the longer break will be of no cost to workers.