Students and families from the Kamloops-Thompson School District will now be able to join their families and friends in the rest of the province on a two-week spring break.
The SD73 school board and the Kamloops Thompson Teachers’ Association (KTTA), and CUPE Local 3500 agreed to the terms of an additional week for spring break, the board announced today (July 2, 2021).
“As demonstrated by the almost unanimous vote by district union groups this will be a welcome change for staff,” said board chair Rhonda Kershaw.
The length of the break has been a bone of contention in the local school district for some time.
The province gives school districts authority to determine their own calendars. They must ensure students receive a minimum number of instructional hours each school year.
Results from the KTTA’s vote showed 96 per cent were in favour of a longer break.
“Teachers are looking forward to a work year that more aligns with the rest of the province,” said KTTA president Laurel Macpherson.
“With the additional week in the spring, teachers and students will be able to rejuvenate and come back recharged for the remainder of the school year.”
To meet the minimum number of instructional hours required by the ministry and accommodate the two week spring break, the length of instructional days will increase for the 2021-2022 school year.
Additional instructional time will come at the end of the school day, not through a shortened lunch break.
Ninety-five per cent of CUPE members also voted in favour over the weekend.
“The extended spring break is a benefit for our membership,” said Corey Grabner, president of CUPE 3500, noting that unlike many other districts, the extra week was not proposed as a cost-cutting measure.
“We were committed to ensuring that the extra week did not come at the expense of our CUPE employees.”
The dates for the proposed extended spring break are: March 21- April 1, 2022 for the 2021–2022 school year; March 20 – March 31, 2023 for the 2022-2023 school year; March 18 – April 2, 2024 for the 2023-2024 school year.