Spring break will grow to two weeks

Next March, students at all Haida Gwaii public schools will get a two-week spring break.

A robin and a waxwing chill out together on March 11. Haida Gwaii students will get an extra week to chill on or off island next March — the school board approved a longer break on Tuesday after surveying residents on the option.

A robin and a waxwing chill out together on March 11. Haida Gwaii students will get an extra week to chill on or off island next March — the school board approved a longer break on Tuesday after surveying residents on the option.

Spring break will grow a week longer next year.

Next March, students at all Haida Gwaii public schools will have classes until Friday, March 16, then go on vacation until Tuesday, April 3 — the day after Easter Monday.

Superintendent Dawna Johnson-Day heard several requests to change the school calendar when she began working in Haida Gwaii last fall. For one thing, parents said a longer March break will make it much easier for students to join the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament.

Trustees voted in favour of the two-week break on Tuesday, following the preferred choice of over 140 parents, teachers, and schools staff who answered a survey with three options: add a series of extra Fridays off, continue with a one-week March break, or extend it to two.

Given just two options — a one-week or a two-week break — more than three-quarters preferred the longer vacation.

Johnson-Day said the schools’ daily starting and closing times will change slightly to make the switch next year, and CUPE staff will not see any loss in pay.

The board will see how next year goes before extending the change into future years, but if it does continue, the longer break will be linked with Easter holidays whenever they fall in March.

Johnson-Day also thanked everyone for the “phenomenal” survey response.

“I really believe that we can do things together with consultation,” she said.

“I think this sets us up for some great opportunities.”