Parents surveyed about cost of PD days

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation wants to know what it costs Island parents when kids stay home on professional development days.

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation is asking parents what it costs them when kids stay home on professional development days.

The Federation's president Pam Montgomery said the survey of parents  is in the early stages.

"All it asks is, 'What is the cost to parents, in dollar value, of a PD day?'" Montgomery said, "Because we thought if we could approach the committee and say, 'Out of all the membership that we polled, this was the average cost of a PD day...'"

Montgomery said the federation doesn't have a position on PD days, it is simply seeking input from parents.

She said so far more than 200 have completed the survey and the average cost for parents to provide care, either by hiring a sitter or by staying home to care for children, is about $17 per day.

The calendar has already been set for 2012-2013. Montgomery said any changes would happen in the following school year.

In February the Department of Education cut PD days for the rest of the fiscal year as part of a cost-cutting measure.

But in April the Education Governance Commission released a report saying it wants government to make room in the calendar for more professional development for teachers.

Currently, there are five PD days when teachers learn and children get the day off school.