The GECDSB has posted the Agenda for the December 13th board meeting.
The following update comes to you with mixed emotions...
First, let's celebrate! Hugh Beaton has not been recommended for closure!
Hugh Beaton is not scheduled to close or recommended to close - so tell your friends and family that we are here to stay! Encourage them to join our strong community and let them experience the greatness that we have fought so hard to keep!
Second, the GECDSB has decided to proceed with two PARCs (Riverside/Forest Glade and Leamington) to potentially close 3 schools. Please communicate with your friends/family/colleagues/neighbours and tell them that we have resources that can help them rally their communities together to stop these unnecessary school closures.
What we've learned over the last 8 months are:
- The Provincial Ministry of Education funding formula is flawed
- The Provincial Gov't has set up a plan to close schools
- The GECDSB has followed this plan without being creative to avoid school closures
- We are dismantling our local communities with each and every school closure and having our children learn instability and have a lack of security during critical cognitive growing years
- Together, we are strong and together, we've made a difference!
A secondary Facebook groups been established to help join our larger communities together named "#fixourschools Windsor-Essex County" - please encourage your friends/family/colleagues/neighbours to join these conversations to:
1. Be aware of what's happening in our city/county
2. Help our other communities save their schools as we may need the help one day too
3. Bring awareness to our Provincial Government that our schools need investment not closure
If you (or anyone you know) are interested in leading this group, please let us know and we can share administrative rights.
We have accomplished what we set out to do: raise awareness, create a single platform for open communication, saved our community, and #savehughbeaton!
Thank you all! Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Dec. 13 - GECDSB board meeting. Together we will make an impact. Please attend to show that we do not support school closures.
A Brief History of Events
On May 3rd, 2016, The Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) proposed a Program Accommodation Review (PARC) for seven schools in Central Windsor. The PARC recommended a number of boundary changes, the consolidation of Queen Victoria and Prince Edward at a newly built school, and the closure of Hugh Beaton with its students shifting to John Campbell.
Immediately, the Hugh Beaton Community began to mobilize! The facebook group - #savehughbeaton was created, followed by a Twitter account - @savehughbeaton, and then this savehughbeaton.com website.
Incredible community effort ensued - a great pooling of volunteered resources - creating the strongest community task force ever to mobilize in only two weeks time. There were number crunchers/crushers, medical professionals, teachers, community organizers, PR managers, promotional coordinators, graphic designers, financial donors, mothers, fathers, students – the list goes on and on.
Flyers were distributed, lawn signs displayed on lawns, pictures/comments shared on social media, t-shirts designed, emails/phone calls made to community influencers, and presentations prepared to challenge the PARC.
Because of this monumental effort, we were able to effect change!
During the May 17th GECDSB meeting, speakers spoke passionately and intelligently against the PARC process. In the end, every trustee there was convinced that there were serious flaws and it didn't even warrant the implied support a trustee would need to give to move forward. Since no board trustee would agree to move it forward, the motion to go ahead with the PARC was rejected.
In its place, a system wide review of all schools will be carried out by administration. The new accommodation review may or may not include Hugh Beaton.
What we have learned in the 6 months since Hugh Beaton was recommended for closure is simply: we are not alone, school closures are being proposed Provincially, the funding model is flawed, and the GECDSB is currently accepting the new rules that they have been given.
During this realization we have found solutions to avoid closing schools:
- decommission empty space
- review schools with "empty spaces" exceeding 100 spaces (or under 70% OTG Capacity) and fill spaces with daycare/PFLC/ or community partners
- reassess school boundaries where one school is over capacity and the other is under capacity (ie. Roseland and John Campbell)
- stop new school builds (not rebuilds or consolidations) as they lead to more "empty spaces" (ie. Tecumseh Vista secondary, Giles Campus) as the population historic and future projections have not warranted the new builds