Grande Prairie Public School District is bringing in full-day Fridays. The board of trustees has approved changing the 2017-2018 school year calendar so that students will no longer be dismissed at noon every Friday.
One or two Fridays a month will then be used as non-instructional days for teachers’ professional development. Superintendent Sandy McDonald says the district tried to make the change two years ago, but couldn’t.
“The recent agreement ratified by the Alberta Teachers’ Association and School Boards will allow us to increase the number of instructional hours students receive in a year while at the same time supporting our teachers and administrators to work collaboratively to support improvement.”
Next year’s calendar will be finalized by the board at their next meeting, and full day Fridays will come into effect in September.
The board has also lowered the distance for students to qualify for free bussing. Also starting in September, all Early Childhood Services to grade three students who live 1.7 kilometres or more from their school won’t have to pay.
The current limit is 2.4 kilometres, and that will still be in effect for students in grades four to 12. As usual, parents of children who live within the limit can apply to pay for bussing if it’s available.