2 Week Spring Break for SD73

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53 of the 60 school districts in British Columbia have a two-week spring break, unfortunately Kamloops-Thompson is not included in this number. During the 2014-2015 school year a three-year trial of two-week spring break began, this trial ended last year with a 4-to-3 vote in favour of reverting back to one-week spring break. This vote as said by Superintendent Alison Sidow went directly against the overall recommendations of stakeholders to continue on with a two-week spring break; let alone the unheard wishes of students who are directly affected. This year's report polling the teachers' union and parents had the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers' Association 94% in favour of two-weeks and an online poll for parents indicated that they were also in favour, consultation with the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Principals and Vice Principals Association also reflected support. Trustee Joan Cowden said, "To me, that indicated that the general population of our school community wanted to continue with the two-week spring break..."

So, with that information in hand how is it that a board of trustees elected in the spirit of democracy to represent the interests of those who elected them have gone on to make this decision, going directly against the wishes of the majority. Representative democracy is designed to have the people's desires upheld in votes by those they have elected to represent them. How democratic is our school board if they are conciously going against the expressed desires of those they are to represent? Furthermore why is it that students who participate in the aftermath of such decisions have no say?

Countless students were rightfully away during the days before and after spring-break. Students who's families wished to spend time together, students who chose to go on missions trips to third world countries, and the list goes on. A teacher of mine once told me that it is nearly impossible to teach anything the week before and the week after one-week spring break, due to the fact that 1/3 of her students miss the week before and another 1/3 miss the week after. Why is it that students should be punished with homework simply because their families wanted to spend quality time together? A class of mine had only 5 students the day before this shortened spring break. And what have we received in exchange for this loss of vacation, 7 extra minutes of lunch. 7 extra minutes for students to loiter in the halls that over one year would have added up to an additional week of spring break. Which would you prefer 7 useless minutes free time during the day or a whole week off?

I have created this petition to give a voice to those who have been ignored and disregarded. I hope that this petition will awaken our trustees to the wishes of those they vowed to represent when they were elected. Please sign this petition and make your voice heard.



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