SB Q7: 20 Questions for Langley School Board candidates

 

Shelley Coburn (City) – No, and quite frankly as a PAC member if I come across a child who needs something, no matter what it is, I would never utter the statement “that is the job of the parent”. It is irrelevant. What is relevant is that in that moment, that particular child needs something, through no fault of their own. It should not matter whose responsibility it is, it is our collective responsibility to give it to them. 

Pamala-Rose Combs (Township) – Yes, but, unfortunately, some parents are incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities and if we want those children to grow up successful, then schools need to pick up the slack.

 Megan Dykeman (Township) – No. Schools responsibilities are set out in the School Act as implemented through Provincial Ministry of Education Policies. Consequently, the current balance between institutional and parental responsibilities reflects the views of the provincial government and fall outside the scope of influence of Trustees who oversee the implementation of those policies in each district. 

Kristine Ketter (Township) – No. Society has changed greatly over the last 25 years. With that, the expectations put on schools are changing as well. I think that communication is the key. Parents and schools must make every effort to support eachother and work together to create the best learning environment possible.

Suzanne Perreault (Township) – The question are schools taking on too many responsibilities that parents should be left to is a very rich complex question which neither groups can be isolated and singled out. I believe both are happening and both for the varying reasons. There has been a learned helplessness from how we have historically done school and positioned the Educational Institution as “knowing more” than the parent. This has transpired both in the Educational and Medical system, thus creating a dependence on the system. The by-product of this has led to abdication of responsibilities further impacted by the financial pressures parents face pushing the majority of families to be double income. Furthermore, we are seeing a stark rise of single parent families that further aggravate this journey for many. As a result, families are worn out at the end of the day to continue focusing on more school work, extracurricular activities verses what should be the priority – a focus on the family. Increasingly children are left to their own devices, literally and figuratively and when they walk into class they are void of the human connection they need to thrive in the world. Yet, we are seeing Parent Advisory Councils increasingly step up and provide much funding for the teachers in the classroom, develop food programs and volunteer to raise funds for parks and other school equipment. Granted this fluxes depending on the community where the families are situated; the cross over between where responsibility lies is very much hovering in the grey. Majority of parents have an innate desire to see their children succeed, when parents are increasingly welcomed in the classroom and feel they had a voice and place, we then see an increase in the support of the classroom with the gifts, abilities and talents that they come to the table with. The greater we increase the partnership, communication and trust within the two groups we will see an increased effectiveness of the cogs working together for the benefit of the children.

Rod Ross (Township) – Yes. Parents send their best children to school. They are doing the best they can. We will continue to share the burden and responsibility as it says it takes a village to raise a child. 

Rosemary Wallace (Township) – No. I believe that it takes a community to raise a child and that teachers and parents can achieve the best outcome for the student when they are supported by resources needed in assisting students. Teachers and parents play a huge role in meeting the learning outcomes of the child as a learner.

 

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