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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 9, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 16 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Wednesday, October 9, 1974 Separate school board 'Teach pupils values' The home and school must carry on dialogue and com- municate if children are to receive a complete education, says a five year veteran of the separate school board who is seeking another three year term Oct. 16. John Boras, 51, believes parents have the primary responsibility for their children and the school should be just an extension of the home. Schools must reflect the values of the home, he stresses. The Lethbridge lawyer is more concerned about a child being taught values than specific skills because he believes degree of civilization is measured by "attitude and how we treat our fellow man than the amount of material goods we gain" through the development of technological skills. "If our school system provides the child with more consideration for fellow man and the basic communication skills, the rest can come later." Mr. Boras is concerned that governments are continually taking over the respon- sibilities of the family instead of doing everything JOHN BORAS possible to support and strengthen the family so it can take care of its own respon- sibilities. "The social unit is still the family. You can bring in all the experts you want, but if you don't have strong families you don't have a strong society." Because he is concerned about values being taught in school, Mr. Boras maintains that careful consideration must be given to the type of teacher being hired to teach in the separate schools. "Teachers are the single largest influence in the school and depending on the calibre of teachers" the students will be provided with a mediocre or good quality of Catholic education Mr. Boras concedes that parent involvement in school board matters "is one of the toughest things" to obtain. "If they have a need for something, parents will be he says. Otherwise, they expect trustees to speak and make decisions for them because they elected a school board to provide leadership. He continues. "Trustees can't always be asking what constituents want. You (trustees) have to provide leadership in the best way you know how." "I only have been phoned seven or eight times in six years by parents. That says to me things can't be all that bad." One of the best methods of communicating with the public is to be open about everything, he says. "Only a minimum number of decisions should be made behind closed doors." says Mr. Boras Local autonomy is also of concern to Mr Boras as it is with most other incumbents of both the separate and public school boards. "We have to have a greater degree of control over expen- ditures at the local he says. Meet your candidates Public school board Busing option proposed Separate school board 'Wider representation needed' A small group of Catholic parents have formed the Catholic Parents Action Group and are sponsoring two candidates in attempt to make the separate school board more representative of all walks of life. J. G. Poirier, a letter carrier, and Robert Kolesar, a manager, have been chosen to seek office under the group's banner. If elected, they say their first task will be to establish better communications between the school board and. parents. Mr. Kolesar says he doesn't expect the school board to ask parents to plan and make the decisions, but it should let "parents know where it is going" and find out if they have any opposition to the direction it is taking. Mr. Poirier suggests it would be appropriate at times for the school board to attend home and school association meetings "right in the school where the problem that they will be dealing with is." They also suggest the separate board should adopt "town hall type meetings" so parents, once or twice a year, could attend the school board meetings and express their opinions without having to go through formal channels. Communication between the school board and students, Mr. Kolesar suggests, is also important. Students should have a non voting representative on the board so that students know that their problems are being dealt with. Mr. Poirier points out that the trustees may find that the students may provide a very ROBERT KOLESAR helpful input into educational planning. "Children are now learning more in the elementary (grades) than I did in all my years of he concedes. Both candidates also want "to see better discipline in the schools." They expect students in the separate schools to respect each other, teachers and other people they come in contact with. Discipline, they suggest, hinges on respect. They believe a teacher should be permitted to gain the respect of the child by whatever method of discipline that is reasonable and effective, including the strap. Since each child is different, Mr. Kolesar suggest the type of discipline to be used on a student should be prearranged between parent and teacher. In some cases three words COLOR YO WITH DURING OUR 74 CLEAR-OUT 74 SPECIAL 20" Portable TV. Fully Automatic 95 74 SPECIAL Contemporary styling In Deilcraft Furniture In Natural Walnut 74 SPECIAL Mediterranean styling Dielcraft furniture In Autumn Oak Q p "C" fx Early American Dielcraft furniture In Maple 2T SETS AS LOW AS 629M ,Y SERVICE EVERY SET! RADIO-TV LTD. J. G. POIRIER, may be more effective than the strap, he continues. Mr. Poirier doesn't believe students should be punished in front of other students. Mr. Poirier is past president of St. Paul's Home and School Association. Mr. Kolesar, manager of St. Patrick's Savings and Credit Union, is president of St. Basil's Home and School Association." City council To eliminate busing school children throughout Lethbridge, a candidate for the public school board recommends the adoption of a rotating school day system. rotating the school day, Grand Fletcher says a school could be an elementary school morning and a junior high school in the afternoon. That would eliminate the busing of children from one school area to another. The Lethbridge Community College instructor of political science history says the elementary school could be operated from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the junior high school from 1 to 6 p.m. He doesn't see any ad- ditional cost to the school board even though the staff of the school would be doubled in size. The money saved by reduc- ing the amount of busing that now takes place and closing the schools that- would be almost vacant if students weren't bused to them would offset the costs of doubling the teaching staffs in the schools with rotating hours, he says. Mr. Fletcher believes parents can be convinced that rotating.school hours is the answer to the "whole problem of the growth of Lethbridge going in one area and the schools located in other areas." "Look at the economics of it. That is where you can con- vince them." Why build new school buildings or spend thousands Traffic control urged The whole problem of traf- fic control is an issue of great concern, says first time council candidate Al Ferenz. "We've experienced fairly rapid growth of the city in the last few years and simply haven't kept pace with it in terms of traffic says Mr Ferenz, a teacher at Catholic Central High School. "The Mayor Magrath Drive and 5th Avenue S. crossing is of prime concern, but I stress the solution doesn't have to be an overpass or underpass. "But there's got to be some feasible alternative available that will ensure more safety in this area. "A council committee should be set up immediately to investigate it thoroughly and maybe- sit down with the two school boards as well." Mr. Ferenz also calls for more citizen input into the dealings of city council. "They should be given more opportunity for input into some of the major decisions being he says-. "The prime example of this is the power plant sale it should have gone to a plebiscite. There seems to be a lot of concern by residents about it. "I feel we may be faced with another one in the possi- ble million expansion of city he adds. "It involves a lot of money and in this day of spiralling inflation, we've got to be aw- fully careful with spending priorities. "Perhaps in this case a money bylaw plebiscite may be necessary." In an inflationary period, says Mr. Ferenz, council has to be very careful to lay out medium and long range goals for any major spending that may be contemplated. City council of dollars each week on school busing when the schools now in operation can be better utilized, he asks. Parents are not likely to be concerned about school starting an hour earlier for- some children because there are many students on the streets waiting for buses at a.m. now, he points out "You can talk all you want about the problem" of busing school children, but there are only three directions that can be taken. Either the school board continues busing, builds new buildings or better utilizes The buildings it has now, says the man who is entering political life for the first time. Mr. Fletcher says that if parents don't agree with the rotation of hours he has suggested there are many other alternatives to rotating the school day and one of them will likely be suitable to most parents. "It is not a new idea." It has been operating successfully in other areas such as Califor- nia, he says. Mr. Fletcher is in favor of selling all the real estate (older schools) and using the revenue gained for the construction of new portable schools in densely populated areas of the city that don't have schools. On another issue, he agrees and disagrees with many other candidates seeking public school board office in the 1974 civic election cam- paign. He agrees that sex educa- tion has not been adequately handled in many homes and the school must accept the responsibility of providing such information to youngsters but he disagrees with those who say it should be taught in the classroom. Sex education should be Public School AL FERENZ "When talking long range goals, we should look at the needs of senior citizens and the he says. "We should perhaps even take it on ourselves to do some necessary renovations to make life a little easier for them." Some candidates are mak- ing a psychological split between. North and South Lethbridge, Mr. Ferenz feels. "We should be considering the people of Lethbridge, not whether they're from the north or south he says. "It's true that at one time there was a definite split, but over the past 20 years this has disappeared. Mr. Ferenz also advocates preservation of historic buildings in the city, improve- ment of the river bottom as a family recreation area, and a review of the open burning ban. "Instead of tearing down areas of the city of historical importance, let's preserve he says. GRANT FLETCHER provided by competent in- dividuals on an individual basis, he maintains. By competent individuals he says he is referring to a person who has post graduate training in psy- chology, sociology and in the biological aspects of the sub- ject. The students should then be given the information when they request it, he adds. After talking to parents and teachers during his campaign, Mr. Fletcher says he is very concerned about discipline in the public schools. "I am talking about control in the classroom. Somehow, we have to support teachers dealing with that problem." He opposes the previous school board's decision to abolish the strap from the school without providing teachers with another method of maintaining discipline. "All the strap really is is a symbol of authority. If you take the strap away, you must replace it. I suggest the board didn't give any alternative." The best approach to dis- cipline, Mr. Fletcher says, is to use the expulsion method which would require parents to bring their child to the school and discuss the behavior problem before the child is reinstated. "Local support vital' A member of the public school board since 1969, Doug McPherson is prepared to stand for another three year term on the actions board during the past three years. The Lethbridge pediatrician believes the issue in any elec- tion of school trustees is the condition of public education in the community and how responsive the elected representatives have been to the changing requirements for education. "As an incumbent candidate for school trustee, I believe the present board of trustees has done a good job and the school system has benefited from its policy he states. Dr. McPherson says he is committed to the concept of increasing community in- volvement by parents, teachers, students and the general public in the es- tablishment of desirable educational goals and their implementation. To improve com- munications between the public and the school system, he proposes the formation of community school councils. The" council, he visions, would include parent, teacher, business, general public and higher education represen- tatives and would operate independent of the school board. It would not have decision New committee system advocated Restructuring city council's committee system would lead to better policy development, says Vera Ferguson, a two term council incumbent and the only female candidate for alderman. Long an advocate of developing policy ahead of problem decisions, Mrs. Ferguson says standing com- mittees of council should be struck for each city depart- ment engineering, utilities, community services and finance. 'The efforts and energies of the aldermen would be much more concentrated and the committee memberships could be related so that each alderman could in one term experience every facet of the city's she says. "3 see endless possibilities for being able to develop policy in a far better VERA FERGUSON says Ferguson. "More and more as Che city grows larger, council must develop policy and allow the administration to carry it out. "It has to be two ways the administration has to give us the technical background and alternatives, but council should be developing policies." Transportation policy leading to setting of priorities concerning people versus cars is one area that needs looking at, Mrs. Ferguson says. "I believe the bus system is a service to the titrates just like police and fire protection and I'd like to see that service policy continued and thought through Mrs. Ferguson suggests council could spend one whole evening talking-about economic growth, or another whole evening talking about transportation. "We could then let the public react to our discussions if they wished, and then hammer oat some kind of she says. "Council must always be open to any citizen." making power but it would provide recommendations to the board and trustees should then pay close attention to the recommendations, he says. "It doesn't have to be a rubber stamp group. It could have a very beneficial impact and give firm direction" on the educational decision making process. Dr. McPherson says he, if re elected, will continue to promote and support programs designed for children with special needs. Such children include the mentally and physically han- dicapped, children with emotional problems, children with language and learning disabilities, the very bright youngsters and native children. "In sensitive areas of education such as education for family life, sex education, teaching of values, drug education, I support the concept that their implemen- tation must be based on sub- stantiaf community support and he states. Dr. McPherson points to the opinion poll that will present public school supporters with the opportunity to react to the expansion of driver education, environmental and family life education as one method of obtaining public reaction to school programming. "I would be very sensitive to the results of the question- naire." It "would be fool hardy to implement programs that weren't broadly based in com- munity he adds. Local autonomy in public school matters is also a pet concern of Dr, McPherson. "I will continue to insist upon local autonomy in educational matters that affect our school system and community, as this is com- patible with the School Act" DOUG MCPHERSON ;