Parents vote for computer upgrades district-wide 

Trickle down option supported by Whistler Secondary PAC

Whistler Secondary parents voted this week to give almost $24,000 to the school district to help buy computers for the corridor schools that need it the most.

"It seems to make sense," said outgoing Parent Advisory Council chair Kris Shoup at a lengthy meeting Tuesday.

The PAC money will be used to get matching funds from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, which recently donated $250,000 over three years for technology in the Howe Sound School district.

At the meeting this week parents were told of two plans under discussion to distribute the foundation funds, which can only be used to purchase computers and permanently attached peripherals.

The first proposal, termed the trickle down plan, would see the money go to the schools which need it most – the high schools.

The best computers from the high schools would then be refurbished and given to elementary schools.

This was the option chosen by Whistler Secondary parents and recommended by the school district.

The second option allows each individual school to spend their PAC money and the matching foundation funds as they wish, as long as it fits in with the district’s technology plan.

However, this plan could mean that a school unable to raise much money would be unable to improve their technology significantly.

In both cases the most a school can claim in matching funds is determined by the number of students at the facility.

Parents throughout the district are currently voting on the two proposals. Spring Creek and Myrtle Philip elementary schools also voted in favour of the trickle down option.

This results of the votes will now be presented at the next district PAC meeting on May 31. The DPAC is one of the stakeholders in the process, which will ultimately determine how the foundation money will be spent and distributed.

Under the trickle down plan Whistler Secondary will get one of its labs replaced with new machines right away. The second lab will be replaced a year later.

School trustee Don Brett said the hope is to access the money soon and get the new technology into schools quickly.

He also told parents that the school board is working hard to find other ways to get matching funds, with the aim of cutting back the amount PACs would have to contribute.

Calendar changes and collaboration days

Whistler Secondary parents endorsed a school district proposal to take a two-week break for spring and Easter vacations next year.

If the proposal is adopted it will mean students are off school from March 21 to April 3 inclusive.

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