Editor’s Note: As part of our ongoing coverage of Election 2010, MorinvilleNews.com is accepting question from our readers, which will be published anonymously for candidates to answer. Please note that only candidates will be able to respond to the questions asked by our readers. Links to questions asked will be archived in our Ask-A-Candidate section. See link in navigation bar above.
QUESTION ADDRESSED TO MORINVILLE SCHOOL TRUSTEECANDIDATES
I would have chosen a non-faith based school if one was available in Morinville. The closest alternative is Sturgeon School Division. I researched attending a school out of my town. The Alberta School Choice Policy allows parents to register their children across districts. However, if a school has reached its maximum enrollment I am not permitted to register. Busing to Sturgeon Schools from Morinville is meant for students who have moved out of their district but wish to remain attending their old school. It is mainly secondary students on those buses and may be uncomfortable for younger children. Parents are encouraged to remain in their neighbourhood schools. The school system is unique in Morinville since even those who do not wish to participate in a Catholic school environment have an uncertain success enrolling elsewhere.
After reading through the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board website I see that the board welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. But it failed to provide me with reassurance that other belief systems are represented. The website stated that in Morinville and Legal, religious education is optional at all grade levels. But the next sentence stated prayer is an integral part of the school environment. The site also stated that the uniqueness of the Catholic tradition has been integrated into the curriculum. I do not see how parents can opt out of a religious education for their children if all students pray and Catholicism is integrated into the Alberta curriculum.
What would you consider an indication that a non-faith based school was needed and would you be willing to represent Morinville parents who are indicating a need for a secular school?
If you become or remain my School Trustee how do you mean to represent the secular families learning at Morinville Catholic Schools? I would like to know how the school board has tried to design programs to fit with all faiths and what resources and discussions you would provide teachers, administrators and students to represent the many faiths and secular belief systems in Canada.