Letters to the Editor

 

Dear Editor:
 
It’s back to school time and the issue of school fees is here again. Parents should not have to pay school fees for required courses or programs of study in Alberta.  
The Alberta School Councils’ Association believes fees should not be charged for things which are part of students’ required learning. For example, if a calculator or a workbook is needed to complete a math course with earned credits going toward a high school diploma, or is required to complete a program of studies mandated by Alberta Education, required  items should be supplied free of charge to the student. 
While fees may be necessary for some courses and programs (sports, music, art), the basic programs of study required for a student to earn a high school diploma in Alberta should not have any fees attached. Nor should there be fees associated with elementary programs and the required courses that prepare students for junior and senior high school.
Parents and school councils are rarely consulted or informed about school fees before being asked to pay them - what the fees are being charged for, why they are being charged, how the money collected was spent and, if it was spent on the things for which the fees were collected. Parents and guardians are expected to pay a bill for which they have little or no knowledge about, and whether paying these fees will make a positive difference in their child’s education.
Those doing the paying should be part of the conversation first - about why and what the fees are for. And at the end of the school year, parents and school councils should be provided an accounting of the fees collected and how they were used.  
In a perfect world, K-12 education would be “fee-less”.  Although not ideal, eliminating fees attached to required courses, consulting and informing the people who do the paying - before they are asked to pay - would be a step in the right direction.
 
Brad Vonkeman
 
Leduc Enforcement Services addresses back to school safety
Monthly education campaign also focuses on etiquette at the off-leash dog park
 
Off-leash dog park usage
The City of Leduc provides an off-leash park for residents and their canine family members for their enjoyment and to provide an opportunity for socialization. Enforcement services would like to remind everyone of a few rules when utilizing this outdoor amenity. While dogs are not required to be on-leash within the fenced area, owners must have voice control over their pet to ensure everyone has a positive and enjoyable experience. Pet owners must still pick up after their dog, monitor them to make sure their dog is not being aggressive towards other animals and/or people. Pet owners are also required to carry a leash with them while in the fenced area.
Back to school safety
As children and teens head back to school, community peace officers would like to remind everyone to be more aware when travelling through school zones. Throughout the province, traffic injuries are the leading cause of hospitalization and death of children younger than 14 years of age. Motorists are urged to use caution when driving through residential areas and adhere to speed limits in school and playground zones:
School zone hours are in effect Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) from:
8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
School zone speed limits are 30 km/hr.
School buses are back on the road. Watch for alternating flashing amber lights indicating a bus is slowing down to pick up or drop off students.
Expect the unexpected. Children may cross the street at the wrong place, or unexpectedly run or ride in front of you.
Motorists are not permitted to park or drop off children in bus loading zones or lanes.
 
For more information on this month’s topics, contact Leduc Enforcement Services at 780-980-7200 (option 5).
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