Myrtle Philip parents encouraged to take part in new School Planning Councils 

A school trustee urged Myrtle Philip parents to get involved with the new School Planning Councils as soon as possible at the elementary’s first parents meeting this week.

"It’s important to get in on the ground floor because the first year is really going to be the one with the learning curve," said Alix Nicoll, who also announced that she will not be running for school board in this year’s elections.

"We would like to see parents elected as soon as possible."

The School Planning Councils became law on July 1, 2002 and will take shape over the 2002-03 school year.

According to an information brochure from the Ministry of Education the purpose of the SPC, "is to formally acknowledge the importance of parental involvement in improving student achievement."

The SPC consists of the school principal, one teacher representative, elected by secret ballot by the teaching staff, and three representatives from the PAC elected by secret ballot. One of the parents must be an executive of the school PAC.

The councils will assist in the drawing up of a plan for the school focusing on student achievements.

"It will be a learning experience for everyone," Myrtle Philip PAC chair Cathy Jewett told over a dozen parents Tuesday night.

"Parent involvement is a key component of the success of Myrtle Philip."

Jewett also discussed the challenges the school will face in the coming months as it becomes clear which students will be attending the new elementary school, now officially called the Spring Creek Community School.

Jewett and others would like to see the school board make a decision before the elections are held. But it’s likely the decision won’t come until January 2003. Spring Creek will open its doors in Sept. 2004.

At the moment all kids south of Alta Vista will be going to Spring Creek. But the numbers don’t add up so it is likely that youths from other neighbourhoods at the north end of the resort will be bussed to Spring Creek so both schools are viable.

The Francophone school will be going to Spring Creek.

Nicoll asked the PAC at Myrtle Philip to undertake an informal survey of parents to help determine if any would voluntarily move their kids to Spring Creek.

"Those are the kinds of numbers we can’t get at officially," she said.

Nicoll also confirmed that the school board would be naming their charitable number in the hopes of turning it into an important fundraising tool for schools and students.

Parents also learned that Don Brett, the District Parent Advisory Council representative, was leaving the position and a replacement is needed.

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