Langley school board is pushing a change to the school calendar. They have given parents one week notice of an open house to voice opinions. Then it will be up to the school board to decide, even though everything they say via Twitter and their web page shows they have already made up their minds.
They have 3 suggestions: (1) the current normal; (2) three weeks Christmas, three weeks spring break, with an early start; and (3) three months on, one month off, full-year program.
Unfortunately they are only talking, via Twitter and all other avenues, about the last option.
They are also saying that they will have extra programs to help kids with retention only offered for Options 2 and 3 (but not saying that it will be limited only to those in severe need of help, and not all children).
They only put the pros on their website, putting an article about the cons to another page, out of the way.
The page and information were only sent to parents a little over a week ago, not being sent to anyone who has a kindergarten student starting next year, even though registration was done two weeks ago, and all information from parents was given to schools.
The school board has only tweeted and told the newspapers the pros of Option 3, and no cons. The school board also states that daycare and after-school care will adapt.
But at what cost to parents? Finding care in December and April will be hard, as university students who run camps will be in classes. Parents who rely on programs like that will be out of luck.
The worst part is the issue to high school students who write provincial exams. They will learn for three months, holiday for one month, and come back for a week of review before final exams.
This will also cost the school district more, as all the portables will have to get air-conditioning. The portables for students are already unbearable for kids in September and June. Think about the rest of summer. How can the school board get portables when they can't afford to replace rotting playground equipment?
It will also affect students who are in summer sports. There will be tournaments while they are in school, making parents choose school or sports.
The school district has one school on year-round program, Douglas Park Elementary. Many parents have pulled their kids from that school, and many won't register their kids there, including myself.
The school gets out early every wednesday, and I was quoted extra cost for before- and after-school care if my child was in that school.
If the school board wants to look at this option, it should create a "choice" school for parents who want it.
I come from a one-income family. I take care of my very ill mother who needs care 24 hours a day so my senior father can work to maintain insurance and income to pay for her meds and formula for her feeding tube.
I do not get paid any money to make sure my mother is taken care of. We live on a tight paycheque-to-paycheque budget. Many more families are heading towards this with aging parents.
We can't afford added cost of daycare, or lost accessibility to summer camps.
I feel there is an agenda that the school board is hiding. They are pushing this through too fast and not giving enough information to parents.
Kutrina Mosch, Langley