Parents vote for computer upgrades district-wide 

Trickle down option supported by Whistler Secondary PAC

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Both Myrtle Philip and Spring Creek Elementary schools were not in favour of the proposal as it causes child-care difficulties and most parents are unable to take any vacation at that time since it is so busy in the resort.

Parent Dave Halliwell wondered if taking such a long break would affect the retention of the work the students are learning at school.

But acting Principal Bev Oakley said: "We don’t see a huge loss of retention.

"The thought is that it is a good chance for the children and the teachers to re-charge their batteries."

Parents have one month to give their feed back to the school district on the proposal.

The discussion of days off led to a heated debate on collaboration days.

Next school year there will be seven half-day collaboration days and two full day sessions.

Some parents questioned why teachers needed to take so much time for professional development.

But trustee Don Brett pointed to research, which showed that one of the most effective ways to improve student outcomes was to give teachers time to learn from each other and discuss best teaching practices.

There is no requirement for teachers to attend collaboration days and the time it takes for the sessions is outside the classroom time teachers must – by law – spend teaching.

"But they all come," said Principal Bev Oakley.

Added Brett: "In this district if you want teaching practices to improve then it’s collaboration days."

Some parents said they had "heard" that students didn’t bother to attend school when collaboration days were on because it was a waste of time. The suggestion was that the sessions all be made to last a full day.

However Oakley said "you get more bang for your buck," in half-day sessions since the teachers always stay longer than scheduled.

She also questioned the idea that a number of students were skipping out and told the PAC that she would check attendance records to get some solid data on the issue.

School Planning Council Report

Whistler Secondary Principal Bev Oakley outlined the draft report of the School Planning Council this week.

The council decided to focus on three goals for the school, all of which are in line with the district's goals: social responsibility, numeracy, and literacy.

Oakley said the school had been quite diligent about social responsibility over the last year. They introduced the concept of a daily performance target based on the feedback of visitors to the school. People can fill in a form, which offers a snapshot of the school at the time they were there. Visitors can record if the school was clean, kids were well behaved or any problems they might have seen.

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