My child is not your paycheque!

My child is not your paycheque! I am writing in response to schools that restrict information on educational options available to our children. I believe the majority of Whitehorse residents know that French immersion is an option available to childre

I am writing in response to schools that restrict information on educational options available to our children.

I believe the majority of Whitehorse residents know that French immersion is an option available to children entering kindergarten; but are you aware that it is also an option entering into Grade 1 and Grade 6?

That’s correct. If your child wasn’t able to make it into an immersion kindergarten class, they can still enter at the beginning of Grade 1. Whitehorse also offers a late French immersion program that begins in Grade 6.

French Immersion is only one example. We could also talk about cultural programming regardless of native ancestry, or faith-based education, whether or not you are from a practising family, and even the idea of segregated (same gender) classrooms.

All of these “specialized” programs are offered in different Whitehorse elementary schools. Unfortunately, these options are not openly discussed with students or parents.

Our government is very proud of the various high school programs we offer in town. Wood Street is promoted for its “specialized” programming. All the courses offered there are discussed with and available to all Grade 9 to 11 students in the territory. We were also blessed with a presentation during education week with regards to the new Multiple Pathways approach to secondary education.

It makes me wonder Ð why does our government think secondary students have varying interests and learning styles that we need to accommodate, yet elementary students should be herded into the nearest school? Where is the “Multiple Pathways” for our younger children? As a parent of two, I can attest to the fact that different interests and learning styles do not just appear as you enter Grade 8.

I am sure the majority of the public is aware the school budget is based on the number of children enrolled. I am sickened by the administration in our schools that refuses to share information on different programs (that may be of benefit to a student), and their superiors that sit by and do nothing about it. The introduction of the “student transfer” process, catchment area enforcement and other initiatives rolling out this year only make it more difficult to pursue options for our children. All these initiatives only work to pad the pocketbook for the school.

Therefore, administration does not want to see students leave their school for another.

When did our children become artillery in this political battle?

It is your job, as educators, to provide my child with the best education possible. It is not my child’s job to secure funding for your school.

Michelle Basaraba

Whitehorse