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Myrtle Philip parents take action against government’s class size rules and budget woes

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Myrtle Philip Parents Advisory Council will be sending two letters to the government to complain about class sizes and the budget crunch in the school district.

PAC chairwoman Cathy Jewett, in one letter drew attention to concerns about using the same class size average formulas for both elementary and high school students.

"Class size averages for elementary school students should not be determined by high school class sizes, but should be factored as primary class sizes, averaged according to class size for the same grades in the entire district," states the letter which will be sent to Education Minister Christy Clark.

The letter was released at this week’s PAC meeting. Jewett hopes as many parents as possible will sign both letters and send them to Clark and MLA Ted Nebbeling. They are available through the PAC.

The second letter, which will be addressed to Nebbeling, will discuss concerns surrounding the government’s decision to make school districts fund the Victoria-approved salary increases for teachers.

The PAC also discussed a change in school policy regarding access to the computer lab following an incident of inappropriate use by a student earlier this month.

The school, said Principal Ron Albertin, is now working on introducing a system which would give each student a password to log onto the computer.

That way, said Albertin, any problems can be traced back to a student and action taken by the school.

"We gave the student involved the opportunity to come forward and that didn’t happen," said Albertin in explaining why the school has decided to go to a password system which will identify each student individually.

The PAC is also calling for all parents to submit their thoughts on the review of the Code of Conduct by the next meeting on Feb. 18.

Submissions can be placed in the PAC drop box at the school.

On Feb.18. Albertin will run a workshop with all PAC attendees to come up with a set of value guidelines for the school, which will help develop the Code of Conduct.

Albertin offered to run the session after attending a workshop this week on ethical leadership.

"I would like to go through a process and see if we can come to a consensus on what are ethics are," Albertin told the dozen or so parents at the PAC meeting Tuesday night.

The meeting also learned that while construction at Spring Creek is about two weeks behind schedule the completion date will be met.

Albertin and Spring Creek PAC chairwoman Barb Leigh also asked parents to get the word out that the new school needs all kinds of things, from couches for the staff lounge to knives, forks and plates – the types of items hotels and condo units often get rid of every year.

"We just need to be in that loop," said Albertin.

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