Ladysmith parents will be provided the opportunity to hear from potential School District 68 board trustees during an all-candidates meeting on Nov. 3.
The event is being organized by the Ladysmith Intermediate School and Ecole Davis Road parent advisory committees and will take place in the LIS gymnasium.
While attendees will have a chance to ask their own questions, Ecole Davis Road PAC chair Karen Fediuk said she is hoping for a productive discussion on the state of education.
“The school boards are struggling to manage a budget that means continual cutbacks in schools, and I’m not sure how much control they have over it, but I think it’s important that we hear what their priorities are and where the priorities are for the children of school district 68,” she said. “Their role is to advocate on behalf of children in the education system to the Ministry.”
As chair of the EDR PAC, Fediuk said she has heard many concerns from caregivers of young children; that children are not being diagnosed quickly enough, that classrooms are too full, and that disruptive behaviours are setting back others.
“Those are things that are happening in the classroom,” she said.
There are currently 13 candidates running for nine positions on school board: Donna Allen, Nelson E. Allen, Bill Bard, Jamie Brennan, Nancy Curley, Kim Howland, Rosmy Jean Louis, David Murchie, Dot Neary, Bill Robinson, Noah Routley, TerryLynn Saunders and Sharon Welch.
Fediuk said it was a disappointment to see no Ladysmith residents on the ballot.
“What we’re trying to do is re-engage the younger families,” she said.
The school board all-candidates meeting will run from 7-9 p.m.
“We’re interested in finding out how are the potential candidates going to support our children in achieving what they need to achieve,” Fediuk said.
“We want them to be in a safe, supportive and respectful environment where they are given the opportunity to learn and they are supported to learn.”
Ladysmith Secondary School PAC member Inga Anderson agreed.
“This is your opportunity to be heard and bring some constructive criticism or support,” she said. “You can’t have any change unless you make change.”