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Oct. 23, 2021 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Why does DSBN winter break start on Dec. 24?
Letter to the editor

Dear editor:

Looking ahead at the school calendar issued by the District School Board of Niagara, I learned the winter break begins on Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve – this year. Final class is on Dec. 23.

Do your readers, many of whom are parents/grandparents, realize this? I was quite surprised when I saw this. Really, Christmas Eve?

Then I went to the Ontario Ministry of Education and checked its calendar. It says the last day of school is Dec. 17, with classes resuming on Jan. 3, 2022.

Not understanding why the DSBN is different by a week, I addressed this situation with the principal at my children’s school. I was told the DSBN sets its dates, then gets approval from the ministry.

Still not having a reason why there was a difference, I took the time to check 15-plus other school boards across Ontario. None of them have the same dates as the DSBN, with break starting Dec. 24 and classes resuming Jan. 10, 2022.

At Christmastime last year, not visiting family and friends was a disappointment to many of us. This year, fingers crossed, we are optimistic that visiting will be available and allowed. Not having the same dates for winter/Christmas break, will change this.

I empathize with the elementary teachers who will have classrooms full of excited students, trying to keep them focused when Christmas is two or three days away.

For high school students, returning on Jan. 10 reduces the time for exam review by one week compared to students at all other high schools. Saying the students can do exam review in December during the extra week – a month earlier – doesn’t cut it.

This schedule isn’t equitable or inclusive, terms the DSBN uses often.

Parents and grandparents should immediately contact their DSBN superintendent and the minister of education to voice their concerns if they are unhappy with the DSBN’s choice for our break/holiday time.

The last 18 months have been challenging for all of us on many levels. Why are we now going into the winter/Christmas break with added challenges and stress instead of looking forward to a time of connecting with family and friends?

Kim Wideman
NOTL

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