School District 57 trustees have approved the 2012-13 school calendar, which includes a two-week spring break.
That does not sit well with parent Melody Link.
She questions the validity of an online poll on the District Parent Advisory Council website, which contributed to the school board’s decision to approve a longer March break, saying the 100 or so respondents to the poll did not offer a true indication of what the majority of parents actually wanted.
“It wasn’t like they sent a piece of paper home with every child, it was just based on whoever visited that website,” said Link “It wasn’t put together well to ask the community what their opinion was. Anyone who is an educator could go on their computer and sign themselves on under an alias and say ‘yes’ to that. I just don’t think it was a fair and equitable way of doing any sort of survey.”
DPAC chair Don Sabo said parents were notified through media sources about the online poll well in advance of Tuesday’s school board meeting and that poll showed a majority of parents wanted the two-week break. He also said DPAC does not have access to include their information on school newsletters to parents. That form of communication is available only to school staff. He said DPAC was not alone in recommending the longer break. [note: DPAC did not formally recommend a longer break]
“DPAC is only one of the stakeholders sitting on the calendar committee,” said Sabo. “Teachers, CUPE [support staff], the principals and vice-principals are all in favour of a two-week spring break. It’s unfortunate, it will impact on some parents, single parents particularly that are working and will have to look at daycare. But over 50 per cent of the school districts in the province have the two-week spring break.”
Background on how the board makes decisions on the school calendar, and DPAC’s role in the process, can be found here:
The calendar committee did not meet again after January, but DPAC did report to the school district what the results were of both our request for comments and the Prince George Citizen poll were – to summarize:
- of those who commented, the majority were in favour of a two week break,
- there were a number of comments not in favour
- our request for comments and the Citizen poll would not have reached all parents.