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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 24, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta District The Lethbridge Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, October 24, 1973 Pages 13-22 Local news Sportplex takes shape BILL GROENEN photo Beginning to rise above the hole it has occupied since June, the Canada Winter Games sportsplex starts to take shape south of Scenic Drive. Construction is on schedule with the first loads of structural steel delivered last week, the sportplex committee says. Completion date for the million structure is next Sept. 1. Alcoholism education progress seen By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer Alcoholic employees cost Southern Alberta businesses thousands of dollars a year in lost time and efficiency but a campaign to educate both the employer and his worker is making progress After six months of full- time work in the Lethbridge area. Jack Rollingson, in- dustrial program consultant with the Alberta Alcholism and Drug Abuse Commission in Lethbridge, says response to ADDAC programs has been "outstanding." Six local companies have approached Mr. Rollingson's office with interest in for- mulating policies regarding alcoholic employees In Lethbridge now, the only companies the commission is aware of with written policies regarding employees with drinking problems are branch offices of larger companies, Mr Rollingson says. The commission, through its industrial program office, has been conducting seminars aimed at getting companies to initiate written policies on problem drinking employees "The commission's objec- tive is to try and help people before they reach the alcoholic stage the com- mission tries to stress that it is not witch hunting, but try- Stress workshop scheduled Final plans for a two-day workshop on handling stress in everyday life have been an- nounced by Dr Leroy McKenzie, vice-president of the Canadian Mental Health Association, southern division. The workshop, to be held in co-operation with the Public Service division of the Univer- sity of Lethbridge. will be presented Nov. 9 and 10 in St. Michael's Hospital Residence Hall. Dr. Roger Barnsley, psy- chologist and Dr. Alan Parry, student counsellor at the U of L will be the key resource people. Other resource per- sons include Dr. Menno Boldt, Dr. George Mann and Dr. Bob Gall of the U of L. Mrs. Carol Chapman, school psychologist in Lethbridge will join other discussion leaders recruited throughout Southern Alberta. The workshop will open with a film which, "deals with the stresses and anxieties which confront everyone in daily living." It is hoped the workshop, through film and discussion, will open the way to under- standing the stresses which lead to mental illness, Dr. McKenzie said ing to help people whose drinking is affecting their work performance." he says. Work performance can be the only gauge used to measure the problem alcoholism causes to industry, he adds Figures compiled by the commission reveal efficiency of the problem drinker is decreased to a point that he costs industry three or more times as much as other employees. Recent calculations indicate an an- nual figure of per alcoholic employee. "Whether or not a person drinks is his own business. But when drinking causes absenteeism, accidents, damage to equipment and materials and generally reduces work efficiency, an employer has a legitimate right to be concerned and to take action." Mr. Rollingson points out drinking on the job is not in- cluded in the same category as problem drinking Firing an employee who has proven to be a valuable worker because of off-hours drinking is not the answer to saving money. Through treatment, the company can help the problem drinker to be as valuable to the business as he was before developing the problem, Mr. Rollingson says. "One thing that has been proven by companies with such programs is there is a saving. The business and in- dustry is saving their most valuable possession the he says. It is important for Canadian companies to develop programs because about 85 per cent of the alcoholics in Canada are employed. Only about five per cent are in the so-called skid road category, he says The commission believes if alcoholism treatment is to work, the company must have a written policy which covers the basics of the problem Development of an effective company alcoholism program involves recognition and acceptance of alcoholism as an illness, education of super- visory personnel concern- ing the signs and symptoms of alcoholism and provision of complete information about alcoholism and the company's written policy for all employees. The written policy is necessary to assure all employees are treated equally. Employees suffering from alcoholism should be ex- tended the same benefits as employees suffering from any other type of disease, in- cluding time off for treatment. Mr. Rollingson ex- plains "The individual is expected to seek treatment, as in any other illness, and it is made clear that disciplinary action will be taken by the company only for failure to seek commission policy states. Shortage of foster homes in Lethbridge, district There is a shortage of nine to 12 foster homes for teenagers in the Lethbridge area, a department of social development official said Tuesday. Bob Howell, foster parent supervisor for Lethbridge and adjacent towns, called the shortage "crtical." He said to do justice to the children they should be placed in the sort of homes best suited to them. "There is still an extreme need of homes for 12 years and said Mr. Howeil. Homes for children under 12 were also needed, he said. Mr. Howell said the department's foster parent recruiting program was going well. There were now 110 foster homes in the area under the Lethbridge regional of- fice, 60 of them in Lethbridge and Coaldale. Teachers9 trustees talk Tough bargaining ahead for south By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer Alberta rural teachers and trustees expect to be involved in "fairly hard-fought" bargaining sessions when they reopen contract negotiations in November. The trustees and teachers Tuesday completed two-days of preliminary negotiations in Lethbridge and spokesmen for both parties were pleased with progress made in clearing up several small items of concern to both sides. Rural toll-free phone service may be speeded Salary increases and other financial matters were not discussed Monday and Tuesday, but they are expected to be priority bargaining items when the teachers and trustees meet Nov. 8 and 9 and again for the week of Nov. 19. Ray Clark, spokesman for the trustees bargaining unit, said he expects this year's bargaining to be "tougher" than last year because the economy is unstable and no one can be sure what the cost of living increase will be next year. The teachers are bargaining for a 15 per cent salary increase on a one-year contract beginning Jan. 1 Mr. Clark says the trustees have to hold a fairly hard line on the salary increases they grant because they are work- ing on a provincial govern- ment guideline of 7 5 per cent for salary increases. He also pointed out that 60 per cent of the teachers in Alberta settled for 6.2 to 6.8 per cent salary increases in 1974 when they signed a two- year contract last year. Joe Berlando. spokesman for the rural teachers' bargaining unit, says the percentage of increase teachers accepted last year is simply not acceptable this year He says teachers are faced with at least a nine per cent hike in the cost of living in 1974. Both Mr. Berlando and Mr. Clark are optimistic about an early settlement and both par- ties made an attempt to ac- complish the same by agree- ing to spend a full week at the bargaining table in November. Mr. Berlando said in an interview Tuesday the rural teachers will certainly do their best to avoid the strike situation of a year ago and "let's hope the school boards will do the same." Southern Alberta rural teachers went on strike for three weeks last spring and were forced back to work by a provincial government order. Mr. Berlando says the percentage of salary increase sought by the Southern Alberta rural teachers is on par or slightly less than what teachers in other areas of the province are asking for on their "1974 contracts. By AL SCARTH Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON A five-year program to bring toll-free phoning to rural Alberta will be accelerated if Roy Farran. telephones and utilities minister, has his way. Mr. Farran is asking Alberta Government Telephones to accelerate a survey of where rural Alber- tans want to phone toll-free. "I feel that it's important for rural Alberta to have this strengthening of its economy so I'm seeing what can be done to compress the five he said in an inter- view Tuesday. Province not stalling band room Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Lethbridge- East Socred MLA John Anderson received assurances in the Legislature Tuesday that the province was not delaying promised band room at the Magrath High School. Premier Peter Lougheed promised the award-winning Cardston-Magrath High Schools Band it would have the new facility. He made the promise during the cabinet tour of the South in September but the proposal was recently tabled by the schools building board. But Lou Hyndman. minister of education, said the irrf- provements were being ac- tively considered and that the province just wanted to follow up the best of several alter- natives Any significant compres- sion would involve large over- time bills and the government must decide how much of an increase in the program announced last spr- ing is justified. The telephones minister also said that ACT can take every graduate in telephone engineering the provincial technical institutes can muster. "Right now we're 40 engineers short and it won't be long until we are 80 short." he said. ACT, for the first time, is conducting a survey of sub- scribers to 170 telephone ex- changes in the province using a questionnaire and later a ballot based on results of the questionnaire. Mr. Farran is asking that the survey be done on a province-wide basis simultaneously instead of tackling areas one by one. The aim of the program is to allow less costly and more convenient calls between a rural area and a neighborhood market area. It is a revival of a program abandoned by the former Social Credit govern- ment for financial reasons in 1969 but it increases to 30 miles from 15 miles the dis- tance between eligible com- munities. Deadline for return of the questionnaires sent to sub- scribers in Vauxhall. Magrath, Picture Butte. Stirling, Raymond. Coaldale. Iron Springs, and Barons is Nov. 6. Ron Homulos. ACT staff supervisor in charge of rural development said. He said the questionnaire will enable ACT to lay out the most popular options in ballot form. The subscribers will then vote and the most pop- ular option will become a toll- free connection. The aim of the program is to eliminate long-distance charges to com- munities within 30 miles of each other. 'School must he flexible' force suggests changes in school year, curriculum, teacher training school would produce more competent, constructive graduates All are more flexible than most srhnnl erantinn of rrprfit fnr skills ar- The school would also provide each tatives. would collectivelv develoo mir.H By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer More flexibility in schools is necessary to keep them abreast of a rapidly changing society and make them more responsive to the individual needs of students, a Lethbridge public school task force reported Tuesday. The task force on non-grading presented its 120-page report to trustees at a regular meeting of the public school board Tuesday. The report calls for changes in the school calendar, the curriculum, materials and methods used in teaching, teacher attitudes and training, student-age restrictions and school boundaries. Some of the report's suggestions could not be accomplished without sweeping changes in the present school system, including provincial govern- ment regulations. Other suggestions presented by the task force are already being practised by some Lethbridge schools. The task force, consisting of ad- ministrators and teachers, presented trustees with four different flexible school models in which the amount of flexibility increased from one model to the other. All are more flexible than most schools today. The task force was established in January, 1971, to study non-grading and its potential impact on public schools. It soon discovered there were other alternatives to the present school system than just removing the grade structure. It then expanded its study to include a total examination of ways and means of making schools and the school system more responsive to change Dr. Goerge Bevan, director of curriculum, said in an interview Tues- day the first three flexible school models provide ideas for changes that could be gradually developed within the public schools. "The idea is for schools to change what they can change immediately to move in the direction of greater flex- ibility." He said schools must be careful not to adopt some of the ideas presented before they are able to adapt to the change. Some of the changes in the first three models include making the school calendar more flexible by establishing twice-a-year formal entry and promotion, dropping age restrictions on when students can begin and leave school, granting of credit for skills ac- quired outside of the school and involv- ing the community in the school's deci- sion making. Team teaching, use of teaching aides and volunteers, use of a variety of resource material rather than one text- book, a choice of schools for the student and a variable teaching load are other flexible school ideas that are included in the first three school models. The fourth model. Dr. Bevan said., provides for too great a degree of flex- ibility to make it easily adaptable to the present schools without them first adopting and successfully im- plementing some of the changes proposed in the first three flexible school models. That is why the task force has recommended that the trustees ex- amine the feasibility of creating an ex- perimental school based on the flexible- school model-four concept. The experimental school would operate without a grade system and it would divide the 12-years of school into two six-year periods. Students wouldn't be required to accomplish a certain amount of learning skills during any given year, but they would have to master certain skills by the end of each six-year period The school would also provide each student with a program specifically designed for his or her needs and in- terests. The task force claims students will be motivated by doing things vital to them. Field trips into the immediate com- munity and a student exchange programs with schools in other areas would be a vital part of the student's education in the experimental school Creative expression, activities that encourage creative expression and physical education activities will be en- couraged to develop a student's ability to co-operate and work with others. The task force suggested the ex- perimental school be limited to 120 to 130 students and a student teacher ratio of 26 to one. The students would attend the school on the basis of choice rather than geographical boundary and no limits would be put on the age of a student. "Conceivably persons four to 80 (years of age) may choose to the report states The school's budget would be fixed according to school policy noto in effect The experimental school's faculty, with the assistance of student represen- tatives, would collectively develop specific school policy guidelines and objectives. Parental and community involve- ment in curricular and extra-curricular activities would be encouraged. The school would be open at all times to all persons for inspection. The task force claims the experimen- tal school would produce a graduate who possesses s more positive attitude toward himself or herself, a love of knowledge and learning and a love for mankind The graduate would also be a more constructive force in maintaining and improving society, be more competent in expressing feelings and ideas and have achieved creative use of leisure time, the report states. The graduate would also be more competent in the basic communication and computation skills currently re- quired by the department of education. Finally, the task force recommends the experimental school be given "a reasonable period of time in which to operate under a hands-off situation." The task force, throughout the report, points to teachers as being the key to making Lethbridge schools more flexible to meet the needs of tomorrow's students With that in mind, the task force in- sists that teachers for the experimental school have the ability and willingness to work in a flexible school situation The report suggests teachers could be prepared for the flexible school con- cept through a professional develop- ment program. The teachers would be released from class duties to take the training and they would be awarded credit for salary-increase purposes. The trustees were enthusiastic about the task force's report and the benefits it may bring to the public school system. Trustee Al Mont called the report the most exciting document that educators have put out "in all the time I have been a trustee." Most trustees were of the opinion that the flexible-school concept must be implemented with caution and only into the schools where the principal and the teachers are prepared to accept the changes A special board meeting will be held soon to enable trustees to furthei dis- cuss the report and possible action that could be taken to encourage schools in the public system to become more flex- ible ;