Draft calendar approval for the 2014 – 2015 school year was discussed at the PLRD board meeting on Wednesday, January 15. Changes to the draft included moving the Professional Development (PD) day on September 22 to October 10 and moving the PD day March 30 to March 23, 2015.
September PD day changes were weighed out with much discourse, with Board members thinking through whether a September PD day was too soon for teachers and support staff to have a grasp on all the aspects of the burgeoning school year and whether or not a more successful PD day would fall on a Monday or Friday.
Ultimately, October 10 was agreed upon as a good option for parents and staff alike, for it would allow for a Friday off and give staff time to develop queries and concerns that would reflect more time spent with students at the beginning of the first semester.
Other changes of note include the first day back for students on Tuesday, September 2 and extended time off from November 10 – 14 and February 16 – 20.
The calendar also indicates 182 instructional days and 195 teacher days.
Board members deliberated upon the aspects of teaching that make for a successful scholastic year, with the calendar as a model for how teaching and student engagement should be optimized in knowing how many days teaching would occur.
Superintendent Wes Neumeier noted that discussions with involved communities had rendered this a successful calendar model but noted that ultimately, a successful scholastic year required cooperation, participation and dedication from teachers, school staff, parents and students alike.
“If everyone cooperates – teachers, principals, parents – this calendar will be successful. Teachers need to be making hay when there’s sunshine. Principals supervising for that effect. Parents supporting schools [and] taking time to do their personal business during breaks when they can and less during school time,” he said. “We should be investing a trust in communities and a trust in schools that we’re going to use this calendar as a tool for learning, and use it well.”
It was discussed that student input would be a good way to encourage innovation on the PLRD logo. It was noted that the basics of the logo, the oval and PL lettering, will remain for consistency yet art could be included in the background of the logo for more creative flair. A change in logo would also reflect a website redesign being orchestrated with company Dreamstalk Studios.
It was decided that a contest would be held for students in the division to create a logo for PLRD with a deadline of submission by Februray 28, 2014.