Semester decision draws rare appeal

The Kelowna Secondary School Parent Advisory Council has gone above the school district superintendent Hugh Gloster’s head in appealing his decision to change the school’s timetable to the board of education.

In an apparently unprecedented move Wednesday evening, PAC president Sandy MacKay told the school board she wanted to invoke a clause in the School Act generally used to give parents a last-ditch bargaining effort on the fate of a single student to have the superintendent’s decision overruled.

“We are here because a very reasonable group of people have been put in a very unreasonable position,” she said.

The PAC contends the superintendent did not communicate the school district’s decision to move the high school onto a semester timetable from a linear one, in line with every other school in the district, in an effective enough manner that parents could reasonably mount an opposition to the move.

The school board has since held several consultation meetings on the matter.

Earlier this week, the school board adjusted the original decision to see a graduated form of semester system in which Grade 10s would switch to a semester system and Grade 11s and 12s would be given several options.

This was not good enough for the PAC, the board was told Wednesday, as MacKay outlined a long list of ways in which the parent body feels the school district has adjusted facts to suit their own needs and slighted the parent group.

“If the goal of this exercise was to create tension and distress, you have been successful,” MacKay told district staff as she addressed the trustees.

Their list of complaints include difficulties with the meeting times set out to discuss the matter and arguments over statistics on how students in the school are doing in areas like letter grade failures.

The appeal will be held Feb. 21, 6 p.m., at the Hollywood Road Education Centre, and it will be open to the public.

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