The Calgary Catholic School District (CSSD) has announced that they will be moving forward with a pilot project for the 2024/2025 school year in which students in all its schools would start their days later.
"Students would start school between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. [though] times will vary depending on bell and transportation schedules, so that teachers may engage in meaningful PG [professional growth] activities on the designated morning. School staff would be expected to be at work engaging in PG."
Before the exact days and times and days are determined by the district, CSSD is asking for feedback through an online survey which will be available until December 11.
"The question for which we are seeking your input: What should the district consider as it moves forward with the late entry pilot for the 2024-2025 school year?"
The district added that the total number of instructional hours would not change and that to accommodate that shortened day, school days would be lengthened and/or lunch may be shortened, and the exact times would be determined by school administrators.
The shift in schedules is meant to address increased demands and stresses that they are seeing, as well as a greater number of teachers leaving the profession.
"We must be audacious and try something new with our district calendar, for the wellbeing of students and staff at CCSD."
News of the plan has been met with criticism from both parents and teachers, which the district addressed.
"CCSD understands that moving in this direction may create challenges for some families with young children. Please know that the district will continue to work with before and after-school providers so that care (at the cost of parents) can be offered during the designated mornings. We appreciate all parents for their patience and understanding as we pilot this project."
They also pointed out that other school districts have a similar late entry plan that allows teachers time for PG during the day. CSSD enumerated that The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and Christ the Redeemer School Districts use Friday afternoons, while The Edmonton Catholic School District uses Thursday afternoons.
The 2024-2025 district calendar will be shared with the larger community and posted online in January 2024.
The Calgary Catholic School District operates two schools in Cochrane, Holy Spirit Catholic School and St. Timothy High School.
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