Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick hits from Edmonton

OK. I know I'm supposed to be on hiatus, but saw these three things and just couldn't resist. The news doesn't stop just because I go on vacation.

Walkout in Simcoe County
Nathan Taylor with another great story on the trustee walkout from a budget meeting (this link will likely be updated overnight). Really now, walking out on a meeting is just asanine behaviour. Stay in the meeting and get the vote deferred or defeat it. On the other side of the coin, why did they try and approve the budget right away? Did they want to go on an early summer break? Beach day? Budgets only need to be submitted to the Ministry of Education by June 30.

NDSS 'lifelines' running out
St. Catharines Standard reporter Tiffany Mayer has been keeping tabs on the Niagara District Secondary School issue of late, reporting earlier this week on failed attempts to extend the 'enrolment increase' deadline or stiffen up board home-school attendance policies. As this saga continues, one has to wonder whether there's a concensus position here-- the community has failed in its attempts to date to increase school enrolment leading up to the first reprieve deadline they were given. The board also doesn't discourage students from attending other schools.

Swim to Survive, sort of
The Belleville Intelligencer posted this story about the Grade 3 Swim to Survive program. Those unfamiliar with it should know it's a grant program available to all Ontario school boards on application that defrays busing costs to allow students to attend three hours of instruction in basic swimming and survival skills. This is very close to my heart, as I teach Swim to Survive in my local community and see hundreds and hundreds of seven-, eight- and nine-year-olds over the last six months of the school year. The stats in Belleville are depressing, but not because students aren't passing the skills test. They're depressing because the board and schools aren't sending more classes.