Forum muted parents’ views about district’s plan for Grade 6 students

Right from the start, you could tell there was going to be more output from the school district than input from parents.

To the editor:

I would like to express some thoughts on the “open” meeting that was recently held in Lake Country regarding the September 2013 move of Grade 7 children into the current George Elliot Secondary School, which is part of the School Disrict 23 Long Term Facility Plan.

The meeting started out with the superintendant discussing who else would be speaking at the meeting.

Right from the start, you could tell there was going to be more output from the school district than what would be allowed from parents in attendance.

The meeting had a continuous bombardment of “stats” from the school district, which included stats from a group covering North America as a whole.

Sorry, but Lake Country is a tiny part with its own needs and challenges to be included with the rest of North America.

Several of us parents continued to notice all of the contradictions that kept coming up from the speakers, but as the superintendant said, “You don’t have to take notes tonight as all of the information will be on the website tomorrow.”

I hope people did take note of all of the items that did not make sense, from sending the children across the major highway to the school district not having a plan in place for busing the students from their current school catchment area down to the high school several more kilometers away.

Pretty soon into the meeting, this just sounded like they were trying to sell us something.

I guess they are with this big plan, which is not really a long-term facility plan but a plan that can change at any time the school district sees fit.

Even the school district said the associated costs are about the same for putting in a middle school now in Lake Country or sending the 11-year-old children to school with the 17 and 18 year-olds, and then building a middle school later.

At the end of the presentation, the superintendant’s voice became quite loud and for a better word “pushy.”

He sounded like a bully trying to tell us these were our options and he would “allow” us to speak.

At that point the administrators divided the room into several sections for people to stay and ask questions and voice opinions.

At that point, several of us felt again like we were in kindergarten. Could they not handle hearing from the parents and public as a whole room with a common interest?

I am sure everyone there would have wanted to hear everyone else’s comments and concerns, not the most productive way to hold an “open” meeting.

Maybe that was the whole point—to only make it productive from the school district’s point of view.

Kim Glavin,

parent of a

Grade 6 student ,

Lake Country

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