Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Board outcomes- Fulton

Fulton Notes

240 weighted enrolment, strong k and grade 1 numbers. ACOL 480. (Ad lib: Note that Trustee Esslinger mentioned we have a policy about reopening schools, with a benchmark of 150 students and Fulton has that, so if things don't work out tonight they might want to consider that avenue.)

Troubling precedent being set. There are 66 schools with less than 220 enrolment. Viable thriving school being sacrificed to fill up nearby empty school.

No educational benefit of moving to Hardisty- combining Logos in one bld could happen by moving gr 5 and 6 logos back to Fulton Moving two grades of kids rather than moving 5 grades.

Hardisty’s viability as jr high not improved by creating K-9. Doesn’t add any junior high students.

Based on past trends, 50% of kids from closed schools go to designated school. Given push back and vocal opposition from Cap and Fulton parents, likely to think it would be the same here. 218 Fulton- 50% = 109. 114 Capilano- 50% = 57 109 + 57 = 166. Over three programs: Reg, Logos and ISP. Multiple grade still likely.

Many said they won’t go and will choose nearby Catholic school. With each child funded at $6000, and although I'm not purely driven by financial considerations, we need to consider if we will lose a number of these children and what the cost might be to our system.

Hardisty renovation- $580,000. Very unlikely that the govt. will fund this as they have not approved any of our requests lately, so it would have to come out of our Capital Reserve. Cost of erecting a wall $20-50,000. “significant abundance of space is our challenge in Hardisty area” I agree. Let’s deal with that and close a wing of Hardisty for a fraction of the cost. We have recently received a list of 27 groups seeking leases with us… surely some would fit in this wing? Perhaps even Suzuki School could co-locate.

Note: Petition of 344 names.

Very concerned about the way the Daycare has been treated. 35 year marriage and we didn’t even consult them. Play a very significant role with the school and the community. 140 students. Changed the lease from 5 year to a one year. They have invested a great deal in the building and have plans to do more.

Another concern: Fulton didn’t participate to the same degree as other communities because they assumed they were safe, with the highest enrolment of any elementary in the area. I think they were disadvantaged in this way and community members who said we want to keep Hardisty did not understand that would come at the cost of their elementary. Perhaps we need to consider making some changes to the consultation process. It is not currently about how to keep schools open. It does not allow for exploration of viable and workable options, because Planning is not involved. Would it be better for us to start by drafting some workable options, take them to the community for comment, input, perhaps they would develop new ideas based on what we’ve started. To expect them to miraculously come to a consensus on which schools need to close is unrealistic. Without supplying them with the critical background information they need, how can they be expected to build something out of thin air?

From City Impact statement:
Fulton is not a disadvantaged community. They are not socially vulnerable. Higher than average income, lower percentage of single parent families. There are no plans from the city to engage in revitalization. The student population is expected to be stable over the next 15 years.

I support the idea of consolidated Capilano and Fulton. If 50% of Capilano students (57) were to chose Fulton, we would have viable numbers for the regular program, equally the very good support already existing for the Logos program at Fulton. Total population: 275. Perhaps 300, an optimal educational number for an elementary by the research quoted by Trustee Rice.  I note that both Capilano and Fulton parents expressed concern about the K-9 configuration and stated a preference for the K-6. This would honour that desire, reduce the impact to students and maintain the strong relationship with the Fulton daycare.

Votes: 6-3 with Huff, Gibeault and Colburn opposing

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