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Instructional Calendar Explanation

​The 2019-2020 Instructional Calendar has now been approved.

Guidelines Informing the Creation of CBE Instructional Calendars

​The guidelines used to inform the creation of instructional calendars are based on current legislation and community input. The CBE creates and posts instructional calendars up to five years into the future. All calendars are tentative until final approval, which usually occurs in late December/early January preceding the start of the school year. Tentative calendars have been published for the years up to and including the 2022-2023 school year.

The current guidelines for all instructional calendars are as follows:

  • There will be a minimum of 180 instructional days
  • There will be a maximum of 200 operational days
  • All calendars include
    • Three teacher preparation days prior to students’ first day of classes
    • Two days for Teachers’ Convention
    • 10 common non-instructional days
  • Winter break will be inclusive of December 24 to January 2, as per Section 56(2) of the School Act.
  • The number of instructional days and operational days must be the same for both traditional and modified calendars
  • All schools are closed on the following days:
    • Labour Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Remembrance Day
    • Alberta Family Day
    • Good Friday
    • Easter Monday (when the Friday of spring break is Good Friday)
    • Victoria Day

Additional Guidelines for the Traditional Calendar

  • The first instructional day for students will be after Labour Day when Labour Day falls in the first week of Septemberhe first instructional day for students will be after Labour Day when Labour Day falls in the first week of September.
  • Winter break will be two full weeks including three weekends. When Christmas falls on a weekend, the break will begin closer to that weekend and extend for two weeks. This may mean classes finish and start mid-week.
  • Spring break is generally held the last full week of March.

Additional Guidelines for the Modified Calendar

  • The first instructional day for students will be no earlier than August 15.
  • Fall break will be at least one week inclusive of Thanksgiving Monday.
  • Winter break will be the same as the traditional calendar and may continue for up to one more week.
  • Spring break will begin the same week as the traditional calendar and continue for at least one more week.

Non-instructional Days

A non-instructional day is a day when students are not in attendance. Staff are working and use the day for activities such as parent/teacher/student conferences, professional learning for staff, appeals or organizational work. These days are standard for all schools throughout the system and positioned evenly throughout the school year. The system utilizes non-instructional days to provide consistency for families, provide opportunities for school and system staff to work together as well as provide cost-saving measures for transportation. The 2019-2020 calendars include ten system non-instructional days. Individual schools may have the ability to include additional non-instructional days, depending on the circumstances. Schools will communicate individual school calendars to the school community prior to the end of June.

System non-instructional days are set with the following in mind:

  • Diploma exam schedules in November, January and June
  • Civic election dates
  • Modified instructional calendar breaks
  • Balance between first and second semester
  • Even distribution throughout the year to minimize disruption (i.e. minimize the number of consecutive four-day instructional weeks)
  • Maintaining a balance attached/not attached to holidays/long weekends

Instructional Days

An instructional day is a day when schools are open and students are receiving instruction. This includes exams.

Operational Days

An operational day is a day when staff are in attendance. These include instructional, teacher preparation, non-instructional and Teachers’ Convention days.

Specific to the 2019-2020 Instructional Calendars

Spring Break

  • Spring break for students begins at the completion of the instructional day on March 20. When Easter falls within spring break, schools close Easter Monday.
  • Traditional Calendar schools return on March 30.
  • Modified calendar schools return on April 6. 
Last modified: 6/5/2019 1:55 PM
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