I have many questions about the proposed calendar changes for the Langley School District. I am concerned that these have not been answered in the FAQ, the online presentation, or on the Twitter forum.
Why is the District proceeding with these consultations at this time? There should be a period of stability before undertaking any major change after the upheaval of recent years.
Has the business community been given the opportunity to have input if they can accommodate their employees' holidays adequately in the shortened four-week summer?
Are there any public secondary or middle schools in BC currently on a balanced calendar? The information only lists elementary schools
Will the Langley School District calendar be an anomaly to surrounding school districts, or the majority of districts in the province?
Is there guaranteed Ministry of Education funding for the inter-sessions (one week of additional schooling during the breaks) mentioned for Calendar Option 2 (six-week summer, three-week winter break) and Calendar Option 3 (month off in each of January, April, and August)?
If the School District can provide inter-sessions in Calendar Options 2 and 3, why can they not provide them in July or August or the second week of spring break with the Status Quo Calendar option?
Would with students of all abilities and academic levels be able to participate in each inter-session, and what cost would parents incur?
In the past, primary reading programs like Reading Recovery have been cut during times of budget restraint. Would these inter-sessions fall prey to the same cuts?
How would students write provincial exams in June, when they are not finished their courses until the end of July?
Can the City and Township of Langley provide the same amount of programs in January and April, when there are no university students to staff them?
Have seasonal employers of students been given the opportunity to provide input if they can provide the same employment opportunities for students in January and April? The majority of seasonal employers in B.C. are weather or Christmas dependant.
How would the physical fitness of students be affected with more time off in the rainy season? ParticiPACTION recently released a report card on physical activity in children in Canada. Children are spending an average of seven hours and 48 minutes per day in front of screens. Would time off in January and April increase this?
Would the same SEA and Special Education teacher support be available for the inter-sessions?
How is the survey being administered? What parameters are in place to make sure that people are not submitting multiple surveys from different IP addresses and surveys from people in other communities? What tracking and verification is in place?
Consultations with the City, Township, universities, colleges, and the business community should have taken place before the calendar changes were proposed, so people could make informed decisions and do their research before the survey goes live.
How can the school district answer these and the many other questions before the survey goes live on Feb. 1?
Kirsten Schaffer-Charlesworth, Langley