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November 30, 2005
For immediate release

Parents Asked for Input on New Multi-Year School Calendar


Surveys are going out this week to one in five parents of school-aged children to get their input on a new multi-year school calendar. Parents are being asked how much they value school-related activities and how much time should be spent on them. They are also being asked for their opinions on the timing of school breaks.

The new calendar will replace the one that has been in place since 1995.

Education Minister Mildred Dover advised that according to the School Act, students are required to attend school for 185 to 187 days between September 1 and June 30. “The way we use instructional time and organize our school year has a great impact on student learning. We are pleased to have the direct input of parents and partners in our new school calendar. I encourage people to complete the survey and return it to us in the postage-paid return envelope today,” said the minister.

The calendar is being developed by the Department of Education, the school boards, the PEI Home and School Association, CUPE and the Teachers’ Federation.

The committee surveyed over 1,500 teachers in October to get their views on how instructional time can best be used in the future.

This week, surveys are being sent to 1,000 school support staff and 2,500 parents. They are being asked for their opinions on the timing of school breaks and activities scheduled during school time such as book fairs, concerts and school sports events. “Parents are being asked how much they value these activities and how much time they think should be spent on them. We are also asking them how to best structure the beginning and end of the school year and holiday breaks,” said Minister Dover. “This is the first time that we have involved parents so extensively in this work. These are important issues for parents, and their input will be of great value to us.”

Surveys are being sent to 1,200 parents in the Eastern School District, 1,050 parents in the Western School Board and 325 parents in the French Language School Board.

“I would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance and cooperation of the PEI Home and School Association for working very closely with us on this project,” said Minister Dover. “Their obliging assistance in the development and distribution of the parent survey will add to the quality of the information we receive. It will also be of use to Home and School in a variety of areas.”

The minister said she hopes to have the committee’s recommendations in time to have the new calendar ready by March 31.

Media Contact: Jean Doherty
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