Collaboration time hard sell
It’s not surprising that parents are shaking their heads over the district’s early dismissal proposal by teachers and administrators.
They want collaboration (inquiry) time embedded into the school day, meaning pupils would be dismissed an hour early every second week (which equals two hours a month).
This is a hard pill to swallow for many parents who get the impression that their children are missing more and more instructional time every year. There’s professional development days, two weeks for spring break (sorry kids, this is too long), two months in the summer (too long), two weeks for Christmas (too long) . . . the list goes on.
Under the new proposal, elementary students would be dismissed at 1:30 instead of 2:30, while secondary students would leave at 2:30 instead of 3:30.
Bus schedules would have to change for these days and some parents would need to make special arrangements to care for their children.
Local businesses would also be impacted by employees needing to juggle their schedules around this.
We do see the big picture as to why teachers want this time to collaborate in order to improve student learning. But why does it have to interfere with pupils during the little time they have in school? Why can’t teachers and principals meet after the last bell when students are ordinarily dismissed? If collaboration time takes an hour or two, teachers will still be home before dinner like the rest of us.
School board officials say students will still receive the required amount of instructional time legislated by the province. But parents have enough inconvenience to deal with, and don’t need more to worry about.
Why not shorten these long breaks that students get? Instead of two weeks for spring break, one week is plenty (we can hear the jeers now). Summer holidays should only be one month.
Is it just us or is the inquiry time proposal really bad timing considering the teachers’ strike was not that long ago?
What’s next, a longer lunch hour or changing the morning start time to 9:30?