Establishing a School Year Calendar for the 2011-2012 School Year
In January each year, the Halton Catholic District School Board establishes a committee to develop the following year’s school calendar. This involves determining dates for Professional Activity Days (P.A. Days), Secondary Examination Days and Ministry/Board designated holidays.
The committee gathers input from parents/school councils, staff, our coterminous and neighbouring district school boards in preparation to recommend a calendar of dates to our Board of Trustees.
Governing the committee’s discussion is the provincial legislation related to school year calendars (Regulation 304) School Year Calendar, Professional Activity Days.
The following outlines the requirements for preparation and submission of the school year calendar to the Ministry of Education:
- The school year must take place between September 1st and June 30th.
- For 2011-2012 there are 196 possible school days between September 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. The school year shall include a minimum of 194 schools days of which two days must be designated as professional activity (P.A.) for teachers that must be devoted to specific provincial education priorities. Boards may designate up to four additional days as P.A. days.
- The remaining school days shall be instructional days. A board may designate up to ten instructional days as examination days for secondary schools.
- The Board of Trustees must approve the calendar before submitting to the Ministry of Education for final approval.
- The date of the professional activity days and examination days are at the discretion of each school board.
Other Factors the Committee Considers
In addition to the legislation, the committee also considers the school year calendars of all the boards served by Halton Student Transportation Services (along with our Board, this includes the Halton District School Board, Le conseil scolaire de district Catholique Centre-Sud and Le conseil scolaire du district du Centre Sud-Ouest). The four Halton school boards have a fully integrated transportation system and it is critical that our calendars are aligned as much as possible, since every day we are not aligned costs each school board thousands of dollars.
Other considerations include the balancing of instructional days for the two semesters in our secondary schools, and optimizing the effectiveness of staff learning on our professional activity days.