The Ministry of Education and Department of Education Services have confirmed they are in consultation with government schools to extend Christmas break by two weeks.
“As a consequence, there will be changes to some key dates during the 2020-2021 academic year,” a ministry statement to the Cayman Compass this afternoon stated.
It said it will update the public once the new dates are confirmed. This change will mean the ministry will be delaying the start of the new school term.
The Cayman Compass understands the change in the length of the break was to allow for teachers travelling over the Christmas holidays to return and meet the quarantine requirements of 14 days.
According to a circular sent to teachers Tuesday, which the Compass has seen, principals were advised to send in the number of staff members who wished to travel over the Christmas break.
It follows reports that Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said at a teacher appreciation event on Saturday that approval was given for Christmas travel for staff, according to people who attended that event.
The announcement was based on representations made to the Department of Education Services through the Principals Consultative Committee, according to the document shared with the Compass.
To facilitate the travel and required quarantine, the circular outlined the new proposed timeline for the remainder of the school year, the second term of which will begin 18 Jan., rather than 4 Jan. as originally scheduled.
The document also included a suggested change of dates for half term, from 15-19 Feb. to 18-19 Feb., following the Ash Wednesday public holiday on 17 Feb.
The third term, the document said, would be extended from 30 June to 13 July which would push the end of the school year to 16 July.
Three storm-contingency days will also be added to the final term – 14, 15 and 16 July.