Monday, March 23, 2015

Snow days start to worry some Nova Scotia parents

Calls for the cancellation of Friday's evaluation day

CBC News Posted: Mar 23, 2015 9:05 PM AT Last Updated: Mar 23, 2015 9:05 PM AT
As the winter weather continues with no end in sight, some Nova Scotia parents are starting to worry about lost school days.

Classes were cancelled Monday in many parts of the province in order to give crews the ability to clear snow from school properties.

Kelly Connors with the Halifax Regional School Board says many of their schools weren't ready to open yet.

"When information came in from the people who were on site and seeing the mounds and mounds of snow and the sheer volume that was in front of doors the decision was made that we couldn't with confidence open schools today," she said.

Some parents are saying it's time to cancel professional development days to make up the time.

"I think it would be better to give the kids the full benefit of being in school," said Christie Singer.
"Have a March Break, and not have to have them make up days in summer or some other time."

Parent Sue Ann Lambert understands there are other issues at play.

"I mean I understand that things are written in contracts and all of that, but I feel bad that my kids are losing days," she said.

In the Halifax region, Friday's PD day isn't exactly for professional development. It's more of an evaluation day for teachers to go over report cards and talk to other teachers about students' progress.
Teachers like Grant Frost say it's not a day they want to lose.

"I think that day is very, very important for the teachers and important for the kids too," he said.
Frost says Friday's planned evaluation day is a contractual obligation the board must meet with the union.

"The assessment and evaluation day is all about the students and getting report cards done and looking at report card comments," he explained.

"Teachers put a lot of time into those report cards. And you might be meeting about how a student is going to advance, what needs to be done for the last little bit of the semester."
There are four  PD and evaluation days left on the Halifax Regional School Board calendar and none have been cancelled.


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