Letter: Pandemic brings needed discussion on year-round schooling

Editor:

It is time to consider year-round schooling for students in the Kamloops-Thompson school district.

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Year-round schooling does not mean that any one child would attend classes every month of the year. Multi-track year-round education means varying start-up times and staggering vacation times for groups of students. 

There are many academic studies on this use of the school educational calendar showing the advantages and disadvantages. There are many districts in North America that are following this type of year-round calendar, so we certainly can learn from their experiences.

During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the advantages of year-round schooling foremost in my mind are the reduction of class sizes, the use of vacant schools in summer, more  continuity of instruction with shorter vacation breaks, the lowering of capital costs, flexible family vacations, more spaces for after-school care and minimizing the need for online instruction by parents.

Disadvantages would be the cost of hiring more staff, the need for better air conditioning, the semantics involved in ensuring collaboration between all those involved in decision-making.

I think any parent looking ahead to a hybrid system of instruction again this fall would favour a calendar that would better ensure their child’s welfare.

May we not at least start the conversation?

Brenda McMorland

Kamloops

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