Letters to the editor 

Dear Parents,

I would like to address some of your concerns regarding the recent sexual abuse investigation in Whistler.

While the individual was a former employee of Whistler-Blackcomb’s ski school, the RCMP has confirmed that at this time the investigation is not affiliated with Whistler-Blackcomb or its operations. During the individual’s employment, there were no reports to Whistler-Blackcomb of alleged incidents of this type or others relating to employee misconduct.

If you have concerns around this matter, parents are welcome to call me directly at 604-938-7398.

Doug Forseth

Senior VP Operations

Whistler-Blackcomb

 

The Howe Sound School District recently sent home notices to parents and staff regarding a modified school calendar to accommodate a reduction in costs of about $250,000 across the district of approximately 14 schools. These savings, averaging out to approximately $17,857 per school, are to be gained by reducing the number of days our children attend school by 20. Teachers’ wages will not be affected as the proposal includes an increase in daily instruction along with a reduction in the lunch break. The savings will come from reduced wages for bus drivers, custodians, maintenance and administrative staff along with lower fuel, maintenance and cleaning supplies costs.

Parents at recent PAC meetings no doubt heard the positives from the School Board’s perspective; less sick days for teachers since they will have more long weekends to rest and little impact on programs already in place. The new schedule will bring the total of weeks with four or less days of instruction to 27 out of 40 taking statutory holidays, professional development days and the proposed modifications into consideration.

Now, let’s just think about the impact on the majority of those who will be affected: Students and their families. More than half the school weeks will be four days or less. I believe this is a preferred work schedule for many because you can forget about the job over that three-day weekend. In my home with three boys 8 and under a three-day weekend can spell disaster for our schedule. A four-day weekend can take days to get everyone back on schedule at home. I have to believe this is true to some extent in the classroom. I can’t believe that an extra half hour each day is going to replace the learning and experiences of 20 full days of school. The cost of daycare or time off work to watch your kids (and someone else’s) clearly demonstrates the offloading of costs from the school board to parents and families. It also puts increased pressures and responsibilities onto parents for something that has been long legislated to be paid for by the government via our taxes.

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