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Year-round schooling on the table for Langley

Langley School District is looking at changing the school calendar to year-long schooling or a variation of it.

But first they want your input.

An open house will be held at the Langley School Board office from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, just ahead of the Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m.

With new provincial legislation opening up the opportunity to change the school calendar, the district wanted to start that conversation, said Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman.

The three possibilities are: to keep the current calendar as it is with the already approved two week spring break; to have year-round schooling which means instead of 10 weeks away in the summer, there would be vacation periods throughout the year; the last option is a balanced calendar with three weeks spring break and three week winter break.

So far, only Douglas Park Community School has the year-round calendar, but it is proving to be very popular and has helped improve children's learning because of the continuum of education, Hoffman said in an earlier interview.

The district wants to stress that no changes will be made for next year. Implementation would take place the following school year.

A final decision on the district's three-year calendar will be made at the March 12 board meeting.

A balanced calendar or year-long schooling doesn't mean any fewer days of instruction. Students will still go to school 186 days of the year, with six non-instructional days, said the district.

The district would like to implement calendar changes across all Langley schools at once, but is open to having it take place at requested schools only.

The district has a Q&A on their website as well as an area where people can submit their comments. The Q&A addresses concerns over how it will work for sports teams, student summer jobs and daycare.

There will be no additional budget costs to change the calendar, the district said.

According to research the district has done, year-round schooling has several benefits, including improved learning because of the continuum of education without the stop and start that takes place in the summer.

See sd35.bc.ca for all the details.

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