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CBE considers removing modified calendar in city schools

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The Calgary Board of Education is asking for parents’ input into whether the school board should remove programs currently operating under a modified school year calendar.

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CBE currently has 28 regular program schools operating on the modified calendar that sees students in classrooms from mid-August to late June. Those students in turn have longer winter and spring breaks as well as a break in October. Andrea Holowka, superintendent of school improvement, said the decision to move those schools onto the modified schedule was made years ago and is now yielding operational challenges.

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The school board will begin consultation with families next week, with an in-person session on Sept. 27 and a virtual session on Sept. 29. Online surveys will be circulated to students and parents and will be open in October.

Holowka said they wanted to do the consultations early in the school year to allow for any messaging on potential decisions, if they do decide to change the schedule, to be put out before December.

“We’re entering into engagement to explore what the voices are saying from our families in our schools,” she said. “If there are some schools that are identified that this is a really important component of the learning, then we could consider that and we expect we may be hearing from other schools that a traditional calendar may be more supportive.”

Holowka said they have found there is no academic benefit to the modified schedule, but the board is looking to hear how the calendar may benefit or cause issues for their students or their families in other areas of their personal life.

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