Between 2014 and 2018, with AVPA, Mario Coniglio chaired a task force to comprehensively explore the implementation of a fall break. The University community was consulted for feedback via surveys, focus groups, interviews, web forms and email.
For more background on the fall break project, see the September 2014 Consideration of a Fall Break at the University of Waterloo (pdf) report.
A three-year pilot project was established to introduce and evaluate a Fall Break. The University of Waterloo had its first Fall Break in 2016. Each Fall Break in the pilot, spanning 2016 - 2018, consisted of a two-day break for students following Thanksgiving Monday in October. No classes were scheduled during these days. Students were encouraged to use these days to prepare for upcoming midterms, catch up on readings and assignments, or take time for personal wellness (e.g., catch up on sleep, exercise, etc.) to prepare for the rest of the term.
At the conclusion of the Fall Break Project, a new Fall Reading Week pilot project was established to test a longer fall break.