Diversity, parental input among the key education issues

Candidates for the Abbotsford board of education weigh in on the key issues in this election.

New candidates vying for a seat on the Abbotsford board of education in the Nov. 19 municipal election cite fiscal responsibility, the diverse needs of students, and more consideration of parents’ views as some of the key issues.

Ralf Landsberger and Matt Thiessen – among the nine new faces and six incumbents vying for seven seats – said the current board has not always listened to parents’ concerns.

“We saw this poorly handled during the spring break change from two weeks to one week then back to two weeks,” Thiessen said, referring to the matter that drew heated response in 2010 and 2011.

Landsberger said any decision made by the board should focus on what’s best for families and students.

Candidates Graham MacDonnell and Stan Petersen said this includes better addressing the challenges related to Abbotsford’s diverse student population, such as those for whom English is not their first language and those with special needs.

“It is critical that we support these diverse needs by responsibly directing as many resources as possible to the classroom,” Petersen.

This is where fiscal responsibility plays a big part, the candidates said. It’s important to ensure that education funding is allocated in smart and innovative ways, said Rhonda Pauls.

Some suggestions the candidates made for needed programs included anti-bully and anti-gang strategies, as well as “ethical and appropriate access” to technology.

Other new faces running for a seat on the board of education are: Aeriol Alderking, Arlene Ambrose, Balbir Gill and Freddy Latham.

Meanwhile, some of the incumbents mentioned the same concerns as key issues the board of education will face now and in the future.

Uultjse DeJong and John Sutherland said that in this time of economic restraint, it is crucial that classrooms are not negatively impacted.

“Balancing funding and a fair funding formula from the ministry of education is needed,” DeJong said.

Parent consultation is also important, Sutherland said.

“But as we saw in the debate over the two-week spring break, parents often feel they are not listened to. This is wrong.”

DeJong, Cindy Schafer and Korky Neufeld listed “21st century learning” as a significant issue.

“The education system is challenged to be innovative and creative in approaching the unique needs of today’s learners,” Schafer said, adding that community input is crucial for ideas on how to improve.

Other incumbents on the ballot for the election are Shirley Wilson and Preet Rai.

Watch upcoming editions of the Abbotsford News for more information on all the candidates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read