Dear Mini School Parents and Students:
It is with immense regret that I must inform you about the Mini School spring trips this year. As you have probably heard, many teachers in the province have made the difficult decision for teachers to withdraw all extra-curricular involvement. Although the Mini School outdoor education trips are a substantial part of our enriched program, the vast majority of them are considered “extra” activities, and in most cases, no marks are given for activities done on these trips.
Shortly after Bill 22 was passed in legislation, The Richmond Teachers Association recommended that teachers begin the process of withdrawing extra-curricular, voluntary services as much as possible. Only in cases where monetary refunds cannot be given are exceptions being made.
That being said, our Grade 9 Timberline Ranch trip will be taking place this year. It is the only trip that cannot be completely refunded if canceled. Therefore, all grade 9 Mini School students will be traveling to Timberline from April 23 – 25, 2012.
At this point in time, all other spring trips (grades 8, 10, 11 and 12) have been canceled. The Mini School staff debated the issue and is extremely saddened about this outcome. Our trips are the highlight of the Mini School program, and it was not an easy sacrifice to make. However, we are ultimately tied to the values we are fighting for, and feel the need to act in solidarity with teachers across the Province.
In the upcoming months, the teachers’ position may change, and we will notify you immediately if there is any possibility of organizing a last minute day or overnight trip. In the meantime, Ms. Hunt and I will be working with our Business Assistant, Ms. Sandi Goertz, to ensure that every student is reimbursed the proper amount. Please be assured that all students will be reimbursed the proper amount of money paid for their spring trip.
We understand the many emotions that may come with this news, and we are open to your questions. Please do not hesitate to contact any of your Mini School teachers by phone or email. Once again, we are extremely saddened to be canceling our spring trips, and it is our sincere hope that these issues become resolved quickly so that we can continue to offer the best quality education and enrichment.
Ms. Sandra Gin on behalf of the McNair Mini School