Trustees approve 2012-13 school calendar
RVS Briefs: From the Jan. 12 meeting
Rocky View Schools had a 30-minute debate on three different calendar drafts for the 2012-13 school year before choosing draft one in a 6-1 vote.
The school division asked stakeholders which draft they preferred. One-hundred-and-two people sent back replies, 68 of which chose draft one, while 20 picked draft two and 14 said draft three.
Draft one included 199 operational days while drafts two and three had 200. Drafts one and three also had a Professional Learning Day slated for Dec. 21, while draft two had that as the final day for both staff and students before Christmas break. Drafts two and three had moved the Dec. 21 Professional Learning Day to August. Teachers would begin one day earlier, Aug. 27 instead of 28 with drafts two and three.
Ward 3 trustee Don Thomas sparked debate by making his case for draft two, stating teachers are required to work 200 days, pointing out draft one only had 199 operational days.
He has long been a proponent of “having teachers in front of our kids as much as possible.”
However, other trustees refuted his position with survey results.
“If you look at the feedback, the majority do support draft one,” said Helen Clease, Ward 4 trustee. “I think that has to be considered, or else why do we go out to our stakeholders?”
Bev LaPeare of Ward 2 said her constituents “overwhelmingly supported draft one” and she vowed to reject draft two.
However, Thomas gained an ally in Ward 1 trustee Norma Lang as she explained a Professional Learning Day right before the Christmas break was ill-advised.
“Lots of people didn’t like having that Professional Learning Day loaded right before the holiday,” she said.
Prior to the vote, Thomas made a final plea for draft two. He said it would be easier to choose draft one “if we knew that those 102 respondents were all students or parents or teachers. My worry is that we don’t know that.”
Many of the parents in Airdrie, who he represents, don’t take the time to reply to such surveys, he added.
Moments later, the motion was defeated 5-2. LaPeare then made a motion in support of draft one and began a new debate.
“There’s no point asking for feedback if we’re not taking it seriously,” she said.
Thomas again stated the importance of 200 operational days as opposed to 199.
However, Clease said one day wouldn’t make that much difference.
“It’s quality to me… not quantity,” she said.
“I hope you are not suggesting that our staff are not hard working and professional,” Ward 3 trustee Sylvia Eggerer said to Thomas.
Thomas was then allowed to make a final closing remark.
“I’ve been on this end of the stick for six years in a row,” he said.
“Giving up is not an option, but one of these days some of you will see the light.”
This elicited laughter from all trustees before they voted for draft one with Lang as the lone opposition vote.
Upping the credit
The school division will increase its line of credit from $500,000 to $1 million.
Rocky View Schools has its operating line of credit through the Bank of Montreal.
The decision was unanimous.