Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
GRAND FORKS, B.C. Claims of financial and academic success for an experimental four-day school week have destroyed a public consultation process meant to get views of parents, staff and students on how the controversial cost-saving measure is working.

Faced with Liberal pressure to cut school costs, the Boundary district school board opted for the shorter week last fall. It made the decision without full public consultation. However, a committee was set up to develop a public survey.

This public consultation process has now been tainted by Boundary superintendent Denny Kemprud’s public statement that the experiment has been a success financially and academically.

“He has totally undermined all the work that the school district-mandated and parent-requested committee was charged with doing,” said CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill. “He has decided that the week is a ’good deal’ and deserves ’two thumbs up’. But the committee hasn’t even sent the survey questionnaire to parents.”

O’Neill also questioned the accuracy of Kemprud’s statements about student achievement. “It’s too early to tell,” he said. “Do we really know that they are able to complete the curriculum in the four days? Are they really contending well with 90-minute high-school classroom periods?

“Without consulting parents, it is difficult for anyone to answer these questions,” he added. “And this superintendent has now scuppered any possibility of getting unbiased answers.

“I would welcome a copy of the evidence that Kemprud used to make his statement so that I could respond to the calls I have received on this matter.”

“We need always to ask first how it will affect the students,” O’Neill said. “This superintendent has played neatly into the hands of the Liberal government’s fiscal-matters-first-student matters-second approach by telling parents rather than asking them.”


Contact: Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications, 604-291-1940.