Parents concerned students not going on to post-secondary studies 

Concerned parents from Myrtle Philip Community School are asking the school district to become more accountable in preparing their children for post-secondary education.

Questions about the lack of prerequisite courses for post-secondary education and the percentage of corridor teens attending post secondary institutions were raised at a Parent Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday night.

After the recent Fraser Institute study revealed Pemberton and Howe Sound Secondary Schools to be below the provincial average in some areas, including graduation rate, parents at the District Parent Advisory Committee began asking why.

One mother at this week’s Myrtle Philip PAC meeting said she was given the distinct impression that teachers on hand dismissed the Fraser Institute study, claiming kids can just have a bad day when taking exams.

One statistic that could not be refuted, however, was the fact that only 12 per cent of last year’s high school graduates continued their education the following year, well below the national average. A lack of compulsory university prerequisite courses, such as Physics 12, was thought to be a contributing factor by most at the Myrtle Philip PAC meeting.

Although it was pointed out there are several correspondence courses available at Whistler Secondary, most of the MPCS parents on hand agreed teens could not always be expected to commit themselves to such a course and correspondence can not replace a teacher and classroom.

The Myrtle Philip PAC will be sending a letter to the school district requesting that it establish explicit goals to encourage all students to pursue post secondary education, and to prepare such students through appropriate courses, effective programs and pro-active counselling.

The new Spring Creek elementary school was also discussed by parents, after the recent announcement that the completion date had been pushed back by six months to January, 2003. The PAC has requested Rick Hume, the school district’s director of Facilities and Services, approach the Ministry of Finance about retaining a construction management firm. Such a firm would be used to get the construction back on track for a September, 2002 opening.

Parents pointed out that the overcrowding in Whistler schools is already creating a stressful environment for teachers and students, and will only worsen until the doors open at the Spring Creek school. Hume hopes to have an answer from the ministry by the end of April.

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