Arbitrary Decision Impacts Student Achievement

October 27, 2011

The Saskatchewan School Boards Association expressed surprise and disappointment at the Premier’s announcement this morning that if re-elected, the Saskatchewan Party government will amend The Education Act to provide that the school year for all Saskatchewan students will begin after Labour Day.

“Boards of education set their school calendar with the educational needs of students in mind”, said Sandi Urban-Hall, President of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. “School divisions are diverse. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the school year. Many factors that affect student learning and well being come into play when determining the calendar such as instructional time, transportation, provincial exams, and the list goes on. This arbitrary decision shortens the time period to meet the same educational expectations. ”

“This announcement was made without consultation with school boards who are closest to home and best understand the impact of the school year on student learning and well being. Educational decisions should not be based upon what’s best for Tourism Saskatchewan, but on what is best for Saskatchewan children and youth”.

“The Government of Saskatchewan has stated on many occasions that improved student achievement is their top educational priority. If they are serious about this promise, then we would strongly urge that The Education Act also be amended to address boards’ and parents’ concerns about academic learning and instructional time. Saskatchewan students are simply not receiving sufficient hours of instruction to achieve to their fullest potential. We ask the Premier, if re-elected, to commit to working immediately with the Saskatchewan School Boards Association to ensure students receive the hours of instruction needed to achieve success. ”

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