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LETTER - Parent of G.P. Vanier student says flex days are ‘super valuable’

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

I would like to address the G.P. Vanier Flex Day Implementation from a perspective that differs from the letter I read by Jocie Brooks Wednesday, Dec. 1 (Vanier’s ‘flex days’ equate to 14 days of lost instruction for students)

In my opinion, as a parent of a Grade 10 student at Vanier, I find that the flex day is a super valuable day for those teens who are consistently on top of their work. By this, I mean: up to date and generally keeping their grades up. The value I see and that my son experiences in this flex day is that he can implement school/work/life balance. For the student who works part-time, goes to school full-time, gets good grades and does their homework in a timely fashion, this downtime is super important. High school is a perfect time to teach the individual the importance of maintaining this balance throughout life. We, our family, found this day valuable throughout my son’s Grade 9 year and we maintain this opinion so far through the Grade 10 year.

On the flip side; for students who are struggling or behind for reasons beyond their own control, the flex day provides for that “extra attention” and “one-on-one assistance” that the classroom has been missing for so many years due to too large of class size. Class size has and will continue to be a negotiation issue/challenge for B.C. teachers every single time their contracts are due for renegotiation.

Flex days are still an instructional day, the buses run at regular times, and all students are welcome to attend.

I am not associated in any way with the BCTF nor do I work for SD71, but we sure do hear about their needs at contract time and class size is always an issue. I would hope that these flex days are utilized by teachers to assist those that need a bit more help so they can avoid being “pushed through to graduation” and have a better chance for success in their chosen career path.

I am sure there are as many opinions on this as there are parents.

Tania Woodbeck,