Opinion

LETTER: Time to talk about schools

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RE: Redfish parents want students back from Nelson’s Trafalgar:

Parents are very interested to see that the conversation about our community’s middle school concerns are being brought to the administration of education in our region. Good for all the PACs who are meeting and forcing the issue that we need to support our children more in school.

For years families have been hearing about the difficulties facing Trafalgar. Local options that have integrated middle years include SelfDesign, HomeLinks, Waldorf and the fully-funded Wildflower program. In the recent provincial election SD8 superintendent Jeff Jones hosted the education debate and proudly spoke of the growth of Wildflower throughout the region. These options are all growing quickly and for many there is relief that we can better hold our children through the tough middle years.

What is wrong with our schools when we have fantastic teachers and trained support in our community? We have learned that the industrial model of public schooling could use some modernizing.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld, known for co-authoring Hold On To Your Kids has taught many in our community — parents, teachers, social workers — that middle school aged children need strong boundaries and the ability to see themselves in the greater whole of society. Not segregated.

If the local school board is struggling to administer a shifting system, they are not alone.  But let’s not lose sight of our successes and higher vision because of bureaucracy. All over North America this conversation is being had about the need for evolution and improvement. Sir Ken Robinson highlights it best with 4.5 million people having viewed his education change TED Talk.

If we are tired of waiting to see if government is going to give us money and save us, let’s have a local conversation about our own resources, the opportunities we have locally. There are people who, and facilities that, sit idle but could be used. And what about the private money not entering the system at all? Couldn’t the varying local options share resources amongst all schools? We could bring in more music and multi-age programs as a start.

Let’s come together and reclaim the education in our communities by evolving a system that works for us here in the Kootenays. Your area Green Party representatives would be happy to help survey the community to move this conversation forward.

 

Nicole Charlwood

BC Green Party

Kootenays-Columbia

Regional Representative

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