All Saskatchewan students will receive more consistent face-to-face, instructional time in schools starting this fall. Legislative and regulatory amendments that set instructional hours in a school year at 950 were proclaimed on January 1, 2013. The changes will apply to the 2013-14 school year.
"We have been working with our stakeholders for the past year on these changes," Education Minister Russ Marchuk said. "These changes will help to ensure all Saskatchewan students benefit from more consistent instructional hours and will bring us in line with our western Canadian counterparts."
Following consultation, a minimum of 950 instructional hours was chosen to be the standard as there was a variance of approximately 30 hours between schools divisions. This move is also consistent with other provinces.
The Provincial Auditor raised concerns in 2011 that Saskatchewan school divisions do not offer a minimum amount of instructional time resulting in inconsistency in instructional hours. The regulatory changes introduced for the 2013-14 school year provide school divisions the flexibility to work with their local communities to develop calendars that include consistent and adequate instructional hours.
The amendments were developed in consultation with education stakeholders. Consultations began in December 2011 and included the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, the League of Education Administrators, Directors and Superintendents, the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation and the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials.
School divisions are required to submit their calendar year plans to the Ministry of Education by May 1, and these regulatory changes must be incorporated, with classes scheduled after Labour Day and ending by June 30. School divisions, in partnership with the school community councils and local teacher associations, develop school calendars outlining breaks and professional development days within the framework of 950 hours of instructional time.