Editorial — Board sees no need to change calendar

Langley Board of Education made the right decision in turning down year-round schooling.

 

Langley Board of Education has made the correct decision in rejecting a district-wide move towards year-round schooling.

If the education system operated in a vacuum, year-round schooling would likely make a lot of sense. Students retain more if there are shorter breaks between time in the classroom, and it would be most beneficial to students who have the greatest learning challenges.

However, our school system, which in many ways has changed little since the 1850s, is simply one of many systems modern-day families have to deal with.

They have to deal with employers, who have widely-varying demands on their employees.

They have to deal with governments at all levels, which demand an ever-growing portion of their annual incomes. Nowhere is this more true than in the Lower Mainland, where the province has boosted MSP premiums, Hydro, ferry and ICBC rates and is even boosting income tax on higher-income earners.

Local governments want an extra four to five per cent each year, and TransLink has never met something that it hasn’t considered adding a tax to.

Families also have to deal with the weather. Here in B.C., our best weather is usually in the month of August and in early September, with June and July a close second. How often have parents endured two nice weeks at the end of June, waiting for school to end — only to go on vacation in early July and hit steady rain?

While this could be seen as an argument for a modified calendar, as has been set up at Douglas Park Elementary, no one can count on the weather.

Families also have to deal with sports, arts and other extra-curricular activities. Most schedules are built around the school year, and most involve regular interaction with children of a similar age from other communities. Year-round schooling would put a big dent in extra activities that, for some children, are a badly-needed break from their studies.

There is much more to raising children than sending them to school. School is a very important part of the formative years, but families cannot shape their entire lives around a school calendar. Nor should they have to.

Unless the province is ready to embrace distance education (learning at home), and reshape the education system in that direction, year-round schooling simply won’t work.

The school district, and particularly superintendent Suzanne Hoffman, are to be commended for engaging very broadly with the community on this issue. With more than 7,400 responses, it can be fairly said that this was one of the most comprehensive exercises in democratic engagement in Langley in many, many years.

Ant not only did the district ask for feedback, it listened to what people said. This is an encouraging and hopeful step in the right direction.

Just Posted

Celebrating success at LCMS

As music school approaches its 50th anniversary, retiring principal Susan Magnusson looks back

Spartans clinch first place in Pacific Division with win over UBC

It was ‘a really physical battle in a crosstown rivalry’ coach says

Volunteers keep BC Farm Museum running like a well-oiled machine

Collection, started in 1953, continues to expand beyond museum’s capacity to contain it

VIDEO: G-Men seek revenge Saturday night in rematch at Langley Events Centre

Portland’s Winterhawks downed the Vancouver Giants 5-3 during a road trip down south.

UPDATE: Abbotsford murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Chilliwack voters reject anti-SOGI school board candidates

Slate, including Barry Neufeld, had opposed anti-bullying LGBTQ teaching resource

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Pedestrian rushed to Lower Mainland hospital after being hit by car

Friday night crash is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians in Surrey

Most Read