School board proposes closures during Olympics 

Recommendations include moving spring break to February

Spring break in February and the closure of secondary schools and Whistler elementary schools during the Olympics are part of the recommendations the Howe Sound School Board is making for the 2009-2010 school year.

In a release issued Monday, the board announced it is proposing spring break in 2010 coincide with the last week of the Winter Olympics, Feb. 22-26. The standard school calendar for 2009-2010 has spring break scheduled for March 8-12.

  As well, the board is proposing to close secondary schools in Squamish and Pemberton, and Whistler’s two elementary schools, for the week of Feb. 15-19. Those dates coincide with the first week of the Olympics.

Whistler Secondary will be closed two weeks prior to spring break, starting Feb. 8, 2010.

“The world is coming to our doorstep,” board chair Dave Walden said in the release. “It makes sense to change the school calendar to take advantage of the educational opportunities such an event provides for our students.”

The recommendations come following surveys of parents and consultations with representatives from VANOC, the RCMP and security officials.

“The proposal is based on the information available to us at this time,” Walden said. “We tried to strike a balance between competing interests. Board members hope that this proposal will find acceptance by the majority of our students, parents, staff and the general community.”

Parents and employees are being asked to respond to the proposal before a final decision is made in October.

Results of the surveys, which were conducted prior to the summer break, will be posted on the school district’s website (www.sd48.bc.ca) after the next board meeting on Sept. 26.

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