Sunday, March 30, 2008

Aftermath of vote

I have chosen to publish the three emotional comments sent to me, because I feel it is important to recognise the devastating impacts of closure. (I would appreciate people signing their names as I feel it is important to put your name to comments.) I defend the right of freedom of expression and do not feel that there is anything in these comments that was not echoed in the letters to the editor. If there are any concerns about libel, they should be directed to me, as the publisher of this site.

Re: dealing with the loss
I understand that EPSB is going to provide counselling support to the families at both Woodcroft and Ritchie and I hope that parents will use that service to help their children. I encourage anyone who is experiencing grief to share it and ask for help. I'm sure the Principal has been provided with information, but if not, I am willing to assist as well. If all else fails, you can dial "211". This is an amazing service that provides information and assistance on a wide range of topics. You just explain your situation, tell them what you need and they will provide the referral.

Re: making changes to the process
The School Closure Review Committee will be creating focus groups, within the next two months, of people who have been effected by closure within the past five years. This will provide everyone with an opportunity to be heard. Questions will be open-ended and allow for full discussion. At least two trustees will be in attendance to listen at every meeting and all the comments will be captured and recorded. Although, this will be difficult for the Woodcroft and Ritchie communities, as it is all so quick on the heels of the vote, we are attempting to get some concrete recommendations by the end of May, so that next year's Sustainability Review Process will reflect these recommendations.

Finally, to the comments that it was all predetermined....I always felt there was hope. I know several other trustees thought there was hope, in particular for Woodcroft because the vote to initiate closure was so close. There is no doubt that the schools that are reviewed are chosen because they are considered "critical". There is not the manpower at EPSB to review schools that are considered "okay". So, everyone who is on the 1-3 year list should be aware of the seriousness of their situation. All elementary schools under 140 should be concerned. All junior highs under 150 should be concerned and no one should wait until the year of their review to start the hard work of boosting their school's enrolment.

It is my opinion that those communities with schools on the 3 year list should start work today.

1 comment:

Laurie Simpson said...

Absolutely count me in for the meetings about the review process. Despite the way that I am feeling now, I believe that it is vital that people from the closed schools are heard, since the process needs to be dramatically altered.