Letters to the Editor

With eight professional days next school year, parents will have to scramble

Editor: I am writing to make my fellow parents aware of a decision by the Langley School Board that will cost parents money and reduce our quality of life, while reducing the quality of our children’s educations.

As we all know, teachers get professional development days in the school calendar. In the 2013-2014 calendar there were four of these days. Each required a parent to stay at home, or find alternate care for their children, costing either money or vacation days.

Apparently the school district has decided that ruining four days of work was not challenging enough for parents, so for the 2014-2015 elementary/middle school calendar, it has decided to do professional development by the half day. (See http://www.sd35.bc.ca/schools/General%20Documents/Elementary%20Middle%20Calendar%202014-2015.pdf).

Next year, parents are going to need to either find daycare or stay home from work eight times instead of four. Since most workplaces only give 10 vacation days a year, a working parent could conceivably have to use most of a year’s worth of holidays so that teachers can “collaborate” for half a day at a time.

Apparently the teachers will “collaborate” for the morning and we will then be asked to send our kids to school at noon, so they can eat lunch, then attend class for about two hours before they are dismissed.

When will our school district recognize that these inventive and novel ideas don’t just mildly inconvenience parents, but cost them real money? If you have to give the teachers professional development, do it over a full day and don’t further mess with our lives and our schedules.

Between two weeks of gradual entry and eight days when students are being asked to leave early or arrive late, the school district has managed to use up my entire year of vacation time.

Blair King,

Langley

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