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Don’t forget to vote for school trustees – Nov. 15November 9, 2014

Author: Webmaster

Parents wondering which school-trustee hopefuls deserve their vote on Saturday still have time to ask questions of candidates, and several BCCPAC resolutions might assist with that conversation.

The organization has called for:

– Processes to ensure parents are informed asap whenever restraints are used on students, with detailed reports to be sent to principals and district superintendents and kept on file.

– Processes to ensure parents are informed, and a report kept on file, whenever their students are removed or expelled from the classroom for non-educational reasons.

– More transparency and clarity in preliminary budget documents so that parents will be better informed and better able to participate when boards hold public consultations.

– A requirement that all school boards include a question period during regularly scheduled meetings

– Improvements to electronic communications with parents.

BCCPAC has also called for changes to the School Act to prohibit teachers and other school-district employees from becoming school trustees because of concerns about conflict of interest. That is the law in Alberta and Ontario, but as it stands in B.C., they are only prevented from becoming trustees in the district where they are employed. (More information is here.)

The Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils has also developed a list of questions for parents who want to learn more about trustee candidates. Here is a summary:

– What will you do to ensure classrooms have sufficient resources to meet the needs of all students?

– Given the range of socio-economic conditions, do you believe that equity is an issue and what would you do about it?

– What is your position on parent participation in activities such as school committees, school-based decision-making, school budget allocations and problem solving?

– Would you support a policy that requires timely and comprehensive reporting to parents on issues such as formal assessments, behaviour plans, safety plans, use of restraints and expulsions?

– Do you believe that every student should have the right to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities or do you consider them to be privileges that can be used as rewards and punishments?

– Many believe that self-regulation techniques should replace behaviour modification techniques (such as rewards and punishments) in schools. What is your opinion?

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