New Westminster school trustee MaryAnn Mortensen
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New Westminster school trustee MaryAnn Mortensen is mad some district schools have shortened up recess and lunch hour so an extra week can be added on to spring break.
is calling on the board of education to direct schools to either add the approximately eight minutes needed onto the beginning or end of the day, and not take it out of the school's daily breaks.
"It feels as though our kids are already having to do without so much in terms of support with the staff adjustments, and then to go ahead and make a decision about shortening of recess times, and transition times between classes and lunches without consultation is missing a significant important step in the process," said Mortensen
"The board should really have a stand on this."
Earlier this year, the district approved a plan to adjust school calendars to shift from a one-week spring break to two.
said three schools, including New Westminster secondary, went against the spirit of that decision by opting to shorten time between classes or the lunch hour instead of extending the day.
When the public consultation was conducted, she
pointed out, those options weren't part of the discussion.
"They never stated that would be a possibility," she
"Most people would assume [the minutes] would be added to the beginning or end of the day."
, who led a campaign as a parent against shorter lunch hours in 2011 before she
was elected, went on to say student learning would be harmed by giving them less time to eat or play during the school day.
"We need to make sure our students are getting sufficient time to eat … and do what they need to do without having to do it in a sprint," said Mortensen
said the parent advisory councils representatives for the schools told her
they weren't consulted on the moves, just told about them.
"I'm a fan of consultation, I'm not a fan of meaningless consultation," said Mortensen
"We need greater parental engagement, I don't mean parents coming into the school and doing the job, but parents having a say in what policies of school behavour, school virtues, academic outcomes, and the calendar is the same thing."
wants a public discussion by the board about her
motion to have the time added to either the beginning or end of the school day it was set to be discussed during an in camera session Tuesday.