POLITICS

Saskatchewan moves to amend Education Act to let school start before Labour Day

11/25/2014 04:50 EST | Updated 01/25/2015 05:59 EST
REGINA - The Saskatchewan government is moving to allow school divisions to start classes before Labour Day.

An amendment to the Education Act has been introduced in the legislature to allow an early start if the statutory holiday falls later in the month.

The province says that currently leads to lost instructional days that can be difficult to make up.

For instance, Labour Day in 2015 isn't until Sept. 7 — meaning it would be a whole week into the month before students were back at their desks.

Amended legislation would allow the school year to begin next fall on Sept. 1.

Education Minister Don Morgan says the proposed change responds to the needs of school divisions and creates a consistent standard across the province.

“We appreciate that the minister recognizes that boards of education require flexibility to meet students’ instructional needs, and we also understand that there is a need for consistency across the province,” Connie Bailey, president of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association," said in a release Tuesday.

School divisions, along with school community councils and local teacher associations, develop school calendars outlining breaks and professional development days within a framework of 950 hours of instructional time each year.

School divisions must submit their calendar year plans to the Ministry of Education and publish the information by May 1.