A view of what the school calendar would look like if Haida Gwaii schools adopt a one-week spring break with several more Friday holidays to better match the ferry schedule.

A view of what the school calendar would look like if Haida Gwaii schools adopt a one-week spring break with several more Friday holidays to better match the ferry schedule.

School board considers future changes to spring break

Haida Gwaii schools could switch to a series of Friday holidays in order to match families' off-island trips.

Snowmen may be standing their ground this week, but Haida Gwaii students are already warming up for a sure sign of sunnier seasons: spring break.

For several years, the Haida Gwaii school district has held a week-long spring break in March.

But looking ahead, the school board is asking students, parents, and teachers if they would like a change.

In an online survey, the board is asking islanders if they would prefer a two-week break that includes the nearby Easter weekend, or a much different calendar that includes several Friday holidays spread throughout the year.

“There are some interesting options here,” said Trustee Kim Goetzinger, who stood-in to chair the February meeting of the Haida Gwaii school board.

The idea of having more Fridays without classes was prompted by a uniquely Haida Gwaiian pattern in student attendance it tends to drop off on Fridays, since families often have to take the Thursday evening ferry for weekend visits to the mainland.

If the Fridays option proves popular, there will be no classes on Dec. 22, Feb. 2, March 2, March 16, June 1, and June 15 next school year.

Similar calendars have been tried in other remote school districts, where community groups often use the school buildings on the holiday Fridays to host multi-school events.

A survey listing the three calendar options will be available on the school district website until 4 p.m. on Friday, March 24. The one-week spring break option would leave 185 instructional days, the two-week spring break would have 181, and the one-week break with more holiday Fridays would have 179.

Whichever model is selected, school trustees will approve the new calendar on March 28.