The province may have given local school districts the equivalent of a permission slip to move to yearround schooling, but that doesn't mean Coquitlam school board officials are in any rush to make a change.
Board chair Melissa Hyndes said the district hasn't spent time researching the idea of year-round schooling, and indicated it's not likely to happen anytime soon.
"You cannot move forward with year-round schooling unless you have extensively researched and consulted with your public," she told The NOW.
Though Hyndes said the idea isn't new, she noted it was discussed for School District 43 in the past, but went no further.
Last week the provincial government announced legislation known as Bill 36, which would allow school boards to decide if they want to eliminate the standard school calendar without approval from the Ministry of Education.
Maple Ridge and Richmond are the only two districts that offer year-round schooling in the province.
Hyndes suggested the new legislation would likely open the door for a conversation on the idea, but she noted the district has not been lobbied by any parents asking for a change to the traditional calendar.
Coquitlam Teachers' Association president Teresa Grandinetti cautioned there are some potential issues with changing the standard school calendar.
She suggested it could pose a challenge if every district is working off of a different calendar.
Grandinetti also argued the jury is out on whether year-round schooling is beneficial for a child's learning.
"So really, there has to be a reason why you're going to do it [change the school calendar]," she said, adding a change wouldn't save the district money, and would only be in place for educational reasons.
Other changes in Bill 36 include extending the ability for students in kindergarten through Grade 9 to take online courses. Currently, only students in grades 10 to 12 have this option.
Hyndes said she likes that the province is giving districts more flexibility in implementing programming, but added she isn't sure how online courses would work in the younger grades.
She did suggest online tutoring for the upper grades could open the door for better achievement among students.
"We've heard certainly not one-size-fits-all and we want to give choice and flexibility to families," Hyndes said.
Any changes related to Bill 36 wouldn't happen before the 2013-14 school year.
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