Many consequences to shorter school week

Dear editor,

As the parent of a Grade 3 student in this district I found it disheartening to hear the school district is considering moving to a four-day instructional week.

I understand that due to fewer and fewer dollars being allocated toward public education by Christy Clark’s government, tough budgetary decisions must be made; however, I feel that changing to a four-day week will have widespread, negative consequences for the Valley’s families and children.

Unlike a school closure, this change will affect every child in the district.

For many families, a four-day week will mean having to arrange for childcare. While this scheduling inconvenience is not insignificant, the real costs will come with childcare. These extra expenses will be substantial and will particularly affect those families with low or middle incomes.

For students it’s just another challenge that they’ll be forced to bear, in addition to ever-increasing class sizes, reductions in educational assistants and fewer special education teachers.

Longer days don’t mean that any more learning will occur; longer classes lead to boredom and behaviour issues. In fact, both students and teachers will likely feel even more drained at the end of the day, which will negatively affect other extra-curricular activities. And a shorter instructional week will probably result in even fewer field trips than there are currently.

This proposal also results in a decrease in instructional time for musical education – often the only way some kids get any exposure to this creative and developmentally valuable outlet. It will also undoubtedly lead to a reduction in daily physical activity.

And with an anticipated shorter lunch time, teachers’ ability to offer extra help during lunch will be a thing of the past.

Additionally, trying to fit in “the basics” in just four days will eventually lead to the erosion of specialized cross-curricular programs (like the Explore program) and post-secondary prep electives, such as English literature, pre-calculus and other classes that see a smaller student enrolment.

To other parents I say, consider the impact this change will have and contact the board to ask them to reconsider this proposal.

To the board I say, this is not the right decision at this time. I urge you to take a closer look at cutting administration positions and other administrative costs, eliminating some bus routes and doing away with the PLC program.

Nancy Miller

SD 71


Just Posted

Highland Secondary student wins Horatio Alger scholarship

Jenna Leggett grew up on Read Island where there was no electricity and no roads to her home

Next Science Pub explores sex, evolution and nature’s strangest dating scenes

The Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) is presenting the next event in… Continue reading

Sprinkler system bursts at Florence Filberg Centre

Witnesses say water was pouring down from the building’s deck

Best of World Community Film Fest screens Tuesday

The votes are in from the recent World Community Film Festival and… Continue reading

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read