Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Board outcomes- Parkdale


CRUD and NET Team proposals specific to 118 Avenue corridor. Not transferrable.

Eastwood and Parkdale have year-round calendar. Parents appreciate it, works well with their work schedules, kids don’t lose as much over summer months. Research shows that the educational gap widens most over the summer, with kids from high SES moving ahead and kids from low SES falling

I do not believe this modified calendar will be offered at Delton. Delton is a fully functioning school community of 200+ students. They are happy with the regular program calendar and as a different community with different needs, I doubt they will be interested in adopting this calendar to meet the needs of Parkdale and Eastwood children. Delton (Delton av income $57,670 higher than city average, Parkdale/Eastwood $32,288.)

When we first received the recommendations to consider closure, some months back, I suggested combining Parkdale and Eastwood and Trustee Esslinger said she wanted to hear if the community wanted that. I heard they did. The relt between the two schools already exists, they share a bond already. One school would be preserved in the 118 Ave corridor to align with the City’s revitalization efforts.

Issue with DELTON's Capacity

ACOL 480
By adding Parkdale and Eastwood students the enrolment would be: 416
Daycare takes up 77 student spaces: 416+ 77 =493
Over the limit.

Partnerships, children with special needs, space to eat lunch- all of these would be compromised in an overcrowded school. As well, a school of 400 socially vulnerable children does not make sense to me. Bigger is not better. Transferring additional partnerships will be very difficult. The Extra curricular activities offered at Delton will be of little benefit to kids who have to bus home right after school. I don’t believe Delton has the space to offer a hotlunch program, that is so valued by the parents of Parkdale and Eastwood.

We’ve promised better outcomes for kids through consolidation, but I don’t think that a school that is over capacity, with kids eating in shifts, no hot lunch program because there is not room to offer it, displaced from their neighbourhood, unable to access after school programs, separated from their siblings who now ride a different bus, and with less parent involvement due to distance barriers and they don’t have a car--- this doesn’t sound like a better educational environment to me.

The Catchment area has been widened to a 5.38 Km2. (p. 53)  Why so large when other catchment areas aren't as big? Why should the most vulnerable neighbourhoods have such a large catchment area?

Cost of transportation for CCEP kids $900,000


This is a challenge. But there are other options. Avenue Theatre is close by. 12 Parkdale kids attend Vic, 9 go to Virginia Park, so there may be some attraction for arts-based options. A partnership with Avenue Theatre, professional artists, might be worth exploring and I know the artistic director there and would be willing to investigate that.

If we close both Parkdale and Eastwood it will have a devastating effect on the revitalization efforts the city has put in. Revitalization which is “well on its way to rebuilding a sustainable community. Plans to do transit rebuild near LRT. Overall numbers of children set to increase over next 15 years. Reinvestment clearly indicated # of bld permits, achieved primary goal to promote families recommitment to the area.” That’s why they are stepping up to the plate with money and programs and partnerships. Clearly, they see the connection between school and community. Do we?

In the Journal yesterday, former principal ME Lazerte Dick Baker, suggested establishing a community council to look at schools within the context of community needs and have solutions generated by the council. I like this idea of rich civil democracy a lot (ad lib: and I think they would do a better job of serving community than this board.)

VOTE: 6-3, with Huff, Colburn and Gibeault opposing.

One left...

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