Wolf Creek Division gets a failing grade

Dear Editor,

The news that Wolf Creek School Division may give students every second Friday off as a cost saving measure dismays me. After all, what is the objective of having school? I thought the objective was to prepare students to survive and thrive in a highly competitive global economy.

I believe Wolf Creek has lost sight of its mission: to teach our children.

Wolf Creek claims that school buses cost $17,000 a day. So, by cutting 15 days of transportation, there is a huge saving. Unfortunately, that ‘saving’ is a significant cost dumped onto parents – most of whom cannot arrange childcare or days off every second Friday.

I don’t want to pay for teachers to hang around and learn when their job is to teach. They already get a raft of PD days per year.

If there are costs to be cut, how about we shorten the conventional school year by a month?

I think it would be easier for me to find a 3 month long-term child care or sport/activity arrangement or June, July, August, than searching for child care a day here and there. Overcrowded daycare can lead to a child being apprehended.

During those extended summer months, lets run programs that teach different hands-on practical skills to kids – they could be run in the existing school facilities by teaching entrepreneurs.

Our kids will face global competition from emerging economies in China and India – both countries with billion person populations. I understand from friends who know teachers in China that kids in grade 2 there are doing the math our kids are just learning in grade 5. There is a tidal wave of competent people in Asia who are desperate to ‘reach the top’. If we don’t teach our kids enough to compete as well, then we are guilty of intellectual neglect and abuse.

You want to cut costs in the school division? Stop photocopying everything!!

I was amazed to see about a dozen, double sided pages on “Waste Management” in my son’s portfolio this year. Did you get that irony? They created more waste to study the subject about how to reduce waste. Couldn’t he have been asked to use existing materials, magazines, calendars etc to physically cut and paste a report on it? And to use his head in the process?

Before Wolf Creek cancels buses and give teachers ‘time to collaborate’ – remember that the objective is to educate our children to survive and thrive in a competitive global economy. How does giving more PD days achieve that?

Sincerely,

Michelle Stirling

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