Students getting extra week of summer vacation

District students will get an extra week of summer vacation this year after both the public and Catholic school boards agreed to a new calendar that will see classes begin after Labour Day instead of before it.
School will start Sept. 4 and end June 25 2003, except for those students attending Atikokan High School, who will start and end classes a day earlier.
Traditionally, classes resumed here the last week of August but the Rainy River District School Board, which approved the new calendar at its regular meeting earlier this month, made the change to better co-ordinate with other school boards in the province.
Bob McGreevy, principal at Rainy River High School, said the new calendar could solve some problems the school has run into in previous years.
“The Ministry of Education planned important meetings . . . for the final week of August,” he noted. “[Scheduling] was based on school starting after Labour Day but some of our teachers were obliged to attend the meetings even though school had already started here.”
McGreevy said starting a week later also could mean new textbooks and materials would arrive in time for the first day of classes, instead of after school already had begun.
“There are some positives to it,” he said. “The downside is that the kids like to be out earlier in June so their jobs can start early.”
While most agreed they like the extra week of summer vacation this year, Fort High students seem to have mixed reactions to the change.
“It sounds better, I guess,” said Grade 12 student Ivory Tuesday. “You get more hot days in the summer this way.”
Steven Caul, an 11th-grader, said it didn’t matter to him either way as long as the number of days in class didn’t change.
“I don’t really like that. I like getting out for summer vacation early. It’s fun to be out in June,” said Jess Shute, a grade nine student who often goes to Toronto during the first week of holidays.
“I think this is cool. It is definitely not what we’re used to,” said grade 10 student Sarah Langtry. “Now you get halfway through August and have to get ready for school.
“This way, it gives parents more time, and it’s not as stressful,” she reasoned.
Langtry said ending school June 25 might concern some of her classmates looking for jobs, but said it wasn’t an insurmountable obstacle.
“It’s our responsibility to go out on weekends and look for work,” she remarked.