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Calendars Instructional Calendar Explanation

Instructional Calendar Explanation

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. 

  • Instructional day: A day when schools are open and students are receiving instruction. This includes exams.
  • Operational day: A day when staff are in attendance. These include instructional, non-instruction and Teachers’ Convention days.

The current guidelines for all instructional calendars are as follows:

  • There will be a minimum of 181 instructional days
  • There will be a maximum of 200 operational days
  • All calendars include:
    • Three non-instruction days prior to students’ first day of classes for teacher preparation.
    • Two days for Teachers’ Convention
    • Common non-instruction days
  • Winter break will be inclusive of December 23 to January 1, as per the Education Act.
  • The number of instructional days and operational days must be the same for both traditional and unique setting calendars
  • All schools are closed on the following days:
    • Labour Day
    • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation​
    • 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

  • Spring break is generally held the last full week of March.

Additional Guidelines for the Unique Setting 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-instruction Days

A non-instruction 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, student 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-instruction 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. High schools may add one non-instruction day to be used for graduation events. Schools will communicate individual school calendars to the school community prior to the end of June.

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

  • Provincial achievement test schedules in January, May and June.​
  • Diploma exam schedules in November, January, April and June
  • Civic election dates
  • Unique Setting 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)

Last modified: 1/8/2024 1:45 PM
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