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Administrative Procedure 111: School Year Calendar

The Board annually approves the Division-wide school year calendars which define the number of operational or workdays for school-based personnel, as well as the maximum number of instructional and non-instructional days. In so doing, the Board will ensure the school year is set to reflect the educational needs of students and will incorporate both system and school site requirements into the calendar. Superintendent approval is required for school-specific calendars that meet Divisional calendar guidelines (i.e. the inclusion of school-based PD days, non-instructional days, early dismissals, faith-based days of importance). 

The school year and school day provide time for student learning and quality instruction, which inform our first priority. To facilitate busing, impacts of other local boards in the same catchment area, and other shared services, schools follow common Division‐wide school year calendars. The Board, in recognition of its management rights, may establish school year calendars for one, two or three years in order to facilitate long-range planning for staff, students and parents. The Board may also consider alternate school year calendars.


  1. All legislated requirements contained in the Education Act, the Guide to Education and the current Board/ATA Collective Agreement shall be respected.
  2. Consultation by schools in common attendance areas shall occur to minimize the effects of scheduling non-instructional days for parent-teacher interviews and teacher professional learning/preparation.
  3. Individual school calendars shall not impact other schools in terms of their organization or transportation arrangements. Wherever possible, a school year calendar variation shall be implemented by all schools in that busing attendance area.
  4. The Superintendent may designate divisional professional development/collaboration days that all schools will include in their school calendars.
  5. School councils are charged with the responsibility to initiate proposals for significant deviations from the Board-approved School Division calendar (i.e., compressed school weeks, alternate school years). It is recommended that following such initiation, members of the school staff be consulted, recognizing that the final approval for a proposal to go forward to the Board rests solely with the school council in consultation with administration. Refer to Appendix A - School Council initiated Divisional School Calendar Changes, for details. 


The Superintendent shall propose school year calendars up to three years in advance. The calendars for the next following school year shall be submitted for Board approval at least six months in advance.

  1. In developing school year calendars, the Superintendent will consult with principals and a representative of the local Alberta Teachers’ Association.
    1. Following presentation to the Administrative Council, the proposed school year calendar shall be circulated to all Principals, who shall consult with their respective staff and School Council.
  2. The proposed school year calendars shall be shared with the Board of Trustees for approval, via a motion, at least six months in advance of the start of the new school year. The Superintendent or designate will share the approved school year calendars with a representative of the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Separate Regional Division No. 5 to foster collaboration in regards to transportation of students.
  3. Following approval by the Board of Trustees, copies of the final Division-wide school year calendars shall be distributed to all Principals who shall, in turn, distribute the information to school staff and School Council. The approved Division-wide school year calendars shall be posted on the Palliser School Division website.

School Year Calendar Parameters

  1. The maximum number of days a teacher is required to work shall be established by the Board each year in the Board’s annual school calendars. The number of days a teacher is required to work shall not exceed 200. The calendar shall specify the school opening and closing dates, the number of instructional, non-instructional, and total operational days.
  2. When Labour Day falls on September 1, 2, 3, or 4, the first day for students may be after Labour Day; when Labour Day falls on September 5, 6, or 7, students may start before Labour Day.
  3. The minimum number of Instructional Days for full week programs shall typically be 181.
  4. The school year shall include at least the minimum number of instructional hours prescribed by the Board.
  5. Efforts will be made to balance the number of instructional days in semester one and semester two.
  6. Non-instructional Days will incorporate Division-wide Professional Development, Site-based Professional Development, Teachers’ Convention, Collective Bargaining Agreement, and organizational days, including but not limited to:
    1. One Division-wide Professional Development day prior to instructional days beginning;
    2. Two days of teachers convention.
  7. Professional Development Day selections will consider optimizing student learning by:
    1. Minimizing three-day weeks for students.
    2. Site-based PD days will be scheduled on Fridays, whenever feasible in consideration of 7(1). These shall be considered full days.
    3. The length of the Christmas break shall be two full weeks.
  8. Consideration will be given to large adjacent public school boards when planning calendars, recognizing the impact on families who may have students in both boards.






Minimum Hours Required by Palliser School Division





Ministerial Regulation





Daily Schedules

  1. It is expected that provisions will be made for both morning and afternoon breaks for students, which will allow them the benefits of active and unstructured play.
  2. The length of the school day will serve the priority of students’ learning. Compressing school weeks should not be done by lengthening days at the expense of students’ ability to have meaningful learning experiences and appropriate breaks.


Operational Day - assigned duties for staff, including both instructional and non-instructional days

Instructional Day - students are at school or designated sites for instructional purposes

Non-Instructional Day - a day at the Board or Superintendent’s discretion to allocate in-lieu, professional development, holiday, or other purposes not including instruction of students



Updated February 2024