First, let me say how much I appreciate the Times’ coverage of our Catholic school board meetings.
The article in last week’s edition headlined “Catholic board moves forward on French Immersion” has a statement, however, which gives an impression which I do not believe the board intended and certainly I did not intend to give.
The article stated the board agreed it is up to the teachers and principal to decide if the field trip to Toronto is a go, and that the board “could not interfere” in the matter.
It would be more correct to report the board did not discuss the authority of the principal and teachers to make such a decision. Nor do I recall a statement being made that the board could not interfere in the matter.
The truth is the trustees would prefer not to interfere in this matter, but the reality is that they have the final authority in all matters regarding the instructional program.
Similarly, the decision of the teachers and principal to cancel an educational field trip is subject to the authority of the board’s supervisory officers.
Those are the reasons why I twice during the discussion referred the decision to the acting director for follow-up, with the proviso to prevent this from becoming a larger political issue.
I specifically gave an example of a way in which the decision of the staff could be respected while giving those parents who wished to see their Grade 8 child attend the Toronto trip that choice.
If that suggestion is not possible to achieve and the issue is forced back onto the board table, it will become a win-lose situation—one I am prepared to make in such a way that the educational program of the students will be my first concern.
District School Board