Schools should tweak swim test

Toronto Star - - WORLD -

Re Par­ents seek an­swers af­ter son drowns on school trip, July 8 I was par­tic­u­larly dis­heart­ened by the tragedy of Jeremiah Perry, who lost his life while on an out­door ed­u­ca­tion course in Al­go­nquin Park. As a sec­ondary school teacher, I can fully ap­pre­ci­ate the po­ten­tial learn­ing of such a pro­gram. As a for­mer life­guard and swim­ming in­struc­tor, I was concerned that the school test for swim­ming com­pe­tency (as ear­lier pub­lished in the Star) was to be able to swim 50 me­tres and tread wa­ter for one minute. Why is the school board not us­ing guide­lines es­tab­lished by the Cana­dian Red Cross So­ci­ety as the min­i­mum re­quire­ment? The Red Cross Swim pro­grams teaches swim­mers how to stay safe in, on and around the wa­ter, how to min­i­mize their risk of in­jury and safely en­joy aquatic ac­tiv­i­ties. Why not make the min­i­mum re­quire­ment for an out­door-ed pro­gram Swim Kids 8 or even 10? Mary Tem­plin, New­mar­ket

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