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Updated: Feb 22 at 6:00 PM
VR-D4 Vern Nolin
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Board of Trustees - Calendar Review

The BTPS Board of Trustees has approved changes to the current calendar guidelines that will be in effect for the 2015-2016 school year!  In a very comprehensive collaborative undertaking, the Board gathered input from over 1200 students, staff, parents and community members.  On-line consultations, face to face conversations and video conferencing sessions provided multiple perspectives on those areas that should be considered in creating a comprehensive set of guidelines.  

First implemented in 2005, the guidelines provide for consistency and predictability for parents, students and staff in determining future calendar dates year over year.  They replaced an arduous process that took many hours and left many wondering how calendar decisions were made.  Since that time, BTPS has reviewed the guidelines annually and made minor changes.  This 2015 review was undertaken by the Board of Trustees to fully examine the guidelines and determine how they might best support the BTPS Mission: “Buffalo Trail Public Schools is committed to maximizing student learning, in a safe and caring environment, supported by a highly effective team.”

Board Chair Darcy Eddleston, shared that he is pleased by the collaborative model that was used by BTPS to engage stakeholders in the consultation. “Many students, staff and parents were involved in the consultation and we were excited to see the level of interest that this process created.  The final product is a reflection of what we heard.”

While the new guidelines see significant changes, they remain consistent with the expectations of Alberta Education’s required hours of instruction in the Guide to Education and provide sufficient breaks for students during the school day.  Superintendent Bob Allen, commented that, “We heard loud and clear from students and parents that the start date was an issue and from staff, that time for professional learning embedded in the school year was essential to increasing teacher effectiveness.  Removing non-student days from September and June also recognized the desire to maximize student time during these important times of the school year.”

Parents also shared many, very positive comments in the feedback on the proposed draft guidelines:  “The draft calendar looks good.  Nice to see that the parent/community input is now considered to be a part of the ‘highly effective team’ in helping to maximize student learning.  We congratulate you!”  “It proved effective and efficient to survey parents, staff and community which will assist in creating highly effective teams.  Thanks for sharing the survey results.”

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