Letters to the Editor

Early dismissals will inconvenience people

To the Editor:

Re: Early dismissal allows for meetings, Feb. 6.

Your article informed the public about the 32 early dismissals planned for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District starting in September.

While I am thankful you shared the news, I feel it would have been better to be advised by the school district itself that it had decided to dismiss school one hour early for every single Monday of the 2014-15 school year so that teachers can have meetings.

In February, superintendent Dave Hutchinson did send a letter to parents, but it did not clearly state that teachers’ meetings would result in early dismissal for each Monday of the school year. In fact, it stated that the meetings would be “embedded within the school day, once a week.” When you add up the 32 hours lost, it means our students will be missing over a week of instructional time. It is unacceptable that such an important decision was made without public feedback, and that once the decision was made, the school district was not transparent about it. Many schools in this district already have early dismissals on Friday – students get out around 1:30 p.m. When the Monday early dismissal is implemented, these students will only attend school full-time for 60 per cent of the school week. Not only will this impact the academic achievement of students, but it also makes it difficult for working parents. I urge the school district to reconsider this issue, this time providing the public with full information and consultation opportunities. I also urge concerned members of the public, particularly parents, to take the time to communicate with the school district and their local schools.

Marsha Down
via e-mail

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