Limestone District School Board’s PARC Recommendations

Program and Accommodation Review Committee, PARC, Limestone District School Board, KCVI, QECVI, LCVI, Kingston, OntarioLast 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.

[poll id=”122″]

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.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

7 thoughts on “Limestone District School Board’s PARC Recommendations

  • This poll is meaningless. At its conclusion the Central PARC voted that its "preferred option" is for the LDSB to explore a three school option that provides for effective programming. Is this what participants in your poll are saying will hurt the local education system? As for "recommendations" – there are seven, the most developed of which suggests the LDSB study potential partnership opportunities.

    The language the media (Kingstonist included) has used to report on this issue has been incorrect and misleading. The full report is on the LDSB website.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with Walt 14. It is also biased. In whose opinion are the six parent representatives from Module Vanier and KCVI who walked away 'key players'? Others involved in the process might describe them differently.

        • The frivolous answer would be to describe them as 'AWOL'.

          Their actions showed me that they wanted an specific answer and when they didn't get what they wanted, they attacked the process. Was the process flawed when it started or only when it appeared KCVI was at risk?

          I live in KCVI's catchment area. My two children went there. We chose a house that had been a student rental in a location convenient to work. It happened to be around the corner from an elementary school and an easy walk to KCVI, neither of which were buying considerations. I went to LCVI and would have had no qualms about my children attending it or QECVI, both within an easy walking distance.

          As for the article's reference to 'key players', it's the vagueness of the sentence that bothers me. It can't be determined from how it was written who these 'key players' are, and it suggests that others involved in the PARC process were not key players. Everyone involved was a key player.

          It would have been better to write "After months of public consultations involving school board administrators, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff, city council, and the general public, the six parents representing Module Vanier and KCVI 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 recommendation is accepted."

          What seems to be omitted from discussion is that the PARC process recommended three options to the Limestone school board: keep all three central high schools open, the status quo (and they rated this as the top priority); close one high school; or close two high schools and build a new one. Neither the second nor third options were given a priority by the PARC process.

          It's not a given that one or more high schools in central Kingston will be closed. We could end up with the status quo.

      • Those watching the process might describe the 'key players' as brave. No one else around the table seemed to give a rat's behind about what the process was potentially doing to our community, and no one else around the table made nearly the same kind of effort to develop creative solutions which would not only save the existing schools but also make an attempt at improving our current public "education" system. Many around the table didn't even bother to read information provided to them. The format of the meetings would never lead to creative discussions, and the lack of effort from the other schools to intermingle and look beyond the status quo was incredibly sad.

        In the end though, the polls, effort etc won't really matter. The school board lacks the creativity necessary to find solutions that make a difference to children's education. None of the creative solutions presented were mind blowing, 'wow I never thought of that' solutions that wouldn't have been discovered had the school board chosen to roll their sleeves up and earn their pay. Starting from the top we should be questioning why someone making $220k+ still has a job when they very obviously can't provide the leadership necessary to build a school board we can be proud of.

    • I can't speak for those who've already answered without commenting. A shame that the dialogue here is limited to yours and Marian's comments. In retrospect we probably should have conducted one poll per district, which would have allowed greater insight into the support, or lack thereof of the options that have made it through. Central has rec'd most of the attention in the media, and although it is an interesting story, I didn't want to focus solely on Central and ignore what's going on elsewhere. As you've said, all the reports are on the LDSB's site, and I also would encourage all who are interested to take a look.

      • Or change the poll question to ask about the effects of the provincially-mandated program and accommodation review process and omit any reference to the options.

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