KCVI has been voted off the island.
Last night the Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) voted down five options that would save KCVI, adding only a recommendation that the Board make it a priority to “look for” a 3-school solution. Two other options were passed: one to close KCVI and move students to either LCVI or QECVI; and another to close two schools and build a new school on a new site.
“This process is damaged,” said Lindsay Davidson, a parent representative for KCVI. Dr. Davidson pointed to the “wanton neglect” of the KCVI building that indicated certain individuals were determined to close it. “The ‘Survivor’ mentality has been here from the start,” she said.
All the parent representatives from KCVI and Module Vanier left the table after two new motions, to start afresh and keep all three schools open, were defeated. The motions involved ideas about exploring partnerships and enabling programming with a 3-school hub model and enhanced e-learning opportunities. Lindsey Foster, a Vanier representative who moved one of the motions, noted the many productive and concrete proposals that had been emerging for partnerships within the schools, including one to build a new community health facility in QECVI which had emerged that day.
“Close to 1,200 people came to the public meetings and made it clear they wanted all three school communities to stay open,” said Sue Cumming, a parent representative for Vanier and a Calvin Park resident. Ms. Cumming said she was “very dismayed” that the other members of the PARC “couldn’t be open-minded. You would close a school rather than listen to public input and find a creative solution. Our mandate was to find a consensus, but there is no consensus here.”
Carl Bray, a KCVI parent representative, spoke of how partnerships and e-learning offered a twenty-first-century solution to keep schools open and strengthen programming, instead of the ‘Walmart’ approach to education which closes small schools to enable big ones.
“Today we will go from three to two schools, but a few years down the road, we will go from two to one,” warned Eric Walton, a representative for Vanier.
The recommendations go to the School Board and will be considered, along with recommendations by staff, by the Board’s trustees. A final decision is not expected for some months.