In a bid to make the school calendar more inclusive of different faith holidays, Edmonton Public Schools has opened a feedback survey for parents and students.
Made available on the division’s website and through School Zone until April 29, the city’s largest school board hopes the feedback will help revamp their calendar.
“The board has signalled that this is important to us and so we’re trying to find ways in which we can make our calendar more inclusive of more faith holidays,” said Trisha Estabrooks, Edmonton Public Schools chair.
The results from the survey will help guide the board to make decisions about future school year calendars.
Estabrooks says while the division is mandated by Alberta Education to have so many hours of instruction and is bound by employee collective agreements, there is flexibility to accommodate everyone better.
Detailed questions aim to get a better sense of what people want and what works best for parents, Estabrooks added.
When it comes to days off, the survey asks if it would be preferable to have them in the middle of the week or grouped together, or should the spring or fall break be changed.
“(This is) to make sure that all students and all staff see themselves reflected in our calendar,” Estabrooks added. “Because I think the days off of what we celebrate signals and should be reflective of the community that we serve.”
The division is not sure how many holidays could be added. In addition, Estabrooks said the survey seeks input on mental health and what can be done to better support students.
“We heard that this was a concern before the pandemic, but I think the pandemic has certainly highlighted the need to really provide and find ways to support student mental health,” she said.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Amanda Anderson
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