Last Fall, the Limestone District School Board announced that various Program and Accommodation Review Committees (PARC) had been established to make recommendations that would effectively shape the future of elementary, intermediate and secondary schools within Kingston Central, North, West and Sharbot Lake. The general objectives of PARC are as follows:
- to enhance, where possible, the program and learning opportunities for students;
- to reduce building maintenance and operating expenses and the need for major capital improvements; and
- to optimize the excess student capacity at the schools within the review.
From the outset, one could easily see that PARC was poised to make unpopular recommendations such as close schools, terminate specialty programs, increase class sizes and so on. After months of public consultations involving school board administrators, teachers, and parents, key players from the discussions in Central Kingston have walked away from the process calling it fatally flawed, and painting a bleak picture for the future of public education in Kingston if PARCs two-school recommendations are accepted. While the recommendations of PARC in each district are worth specific examination, this week’s poll question assumes that you’re in the loop on the recommendations being considered.
If adopted, PARC's recommendations will:
- hurt the local education system. (79%, 38 Votes)
- benefit the local education system. (15%, 7 Votes)
- do little to change things. (6%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 48
The PARC process has caused school communities to fight against one another and has created divisiveness amongst the committee. Asking parents to come up with a solution that is geared to closing a school is an unrealistic request. Parents should be asked for input and comment but not put in a position to vote to close any school unless there is a consensus among the entire group. This committee never once had consensus and voting was extremely close on many issues. How can we expect parents to vote on an option that closes a school and then force them together in a consolidated school? We would encourage you to reflect on this flawed process and change it so that parents are not put into this difficult position.
Thanks to Andrew MacKinnon for supplying the background photo of KCVI.