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Thread: Schools closed

  1. #1
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    Default Schools closed

    Capilano Elementary - 8 to 1 vote to close.
    I caught a bit of live streaming video and they just voted to close Fulton.
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    how about 4 other schools ??
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    Fulton Place 6-3 to close. They hadn't gotten to the other schools yet.

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    This certainly tends to push young families away from nice older areas. What a pity.
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    It is unfortunate that the families that don't want the suburbia, mc mansion lifestyle are being forced to consider it just because of their children's education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desconocido View Post
    It is unfortunate that the families that don't want the suburbia, mc mansion lifestyle are being forced to consider it just because of their children's education.
    i'm not sure you can blame capilano's closure on suburbia and mcmansion lifestyles...

    there were 152 elementary students living in the capilano school attendance area and only 72 of them attended capilano school - less than 47%. open boundaries and schools competing amongst themselves for not enough students is a bigger issue than suburbia and mcmansion lifestyles. the closures are in no small part because of the decisions being made by parents in the immediate attendance area, not because of the choice of others to live in suburban mcmansions.

    combine that with the changes paula simons noted in her column this morning - "Neighbourhoods such as Laurier Heights, Rio Terrace, Westridge, Windsor Park, Grandview and Westbrook, especially built for suburban families, are all but empty of children these days, in part because most young families can't afford to buy there and in part because the mature couples who live there now aren't moving out. Even when those neighbourhoods eventually do turn over, they'll simply never have the same number of kids they did in the 1960s and 1970s." - and you have a better idea of the real root causes the school boards are saddled with.

    at least the city has commited to buying any surplus schools and maintaining them until such time as community demand (in regard to actual enrolment and not just demands) warrants them so they may be closed but they won't necessarily be lost.
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    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Mobile classrooms have beeen around Edmonton for years. The problem becomes at what level you can provide a standard of education when only a small population requires it.
    I thought that's what buses were for?
    If they are good enough for country kids then...?
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  9. #9

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    The blame is clearly on the $600 odd million sprawl subsidy the province is wasting on building new schools in Calgary and Edmonton that simply aren't needed, when we already have surplus space in schools.

    I feel sorry for the kids. The message is clear to anyone thinking of having kids, make sure you buy a new home in a new suburb on the edge of town close to where tax dollars are being spent on a new school, for if you attempt to recycle a mature neighborhood, your kids will probably be moved from one school to another at some point. How pathetic.
    Last edited by moahunter; 14-04-2010 at 08:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    The blame is clearly on the $600 odd million sprawl subsidy the province is wasting on building new schools in Calgary and Edmonton that simply aren't needed, when we already have surplus space in schools.

    I feel sorry for the kids. The message is clear to anyone thinking of having kids, make sure you buy a new home in a new suburb on the edge of town close to where tax dollars are being spent on a new school, for if you attempt to recycle a mature neighborhood, your kids will probably be moved from one school to another at some point. How pathetic.

    there is a big problem is that we got too many schools in edmonton involving catholic and public , that is a huge problem across canada too
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    ^so why is the province spending more than half a billion building new schools? It is beyond wasteful.

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    I believe that they wanted to get rid of old schools and built new ones I guess .
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    Does the Province not take direction and or guidance from the various school boards and town planners?
    If that is the case it should be changed.
    With the enormous salary cost today for educators it seems prudent to try to maximise their time and that would involve full a complement in each class room.
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    What a shame -- end of many eras at once. Besides the 'economics' of the situation, that have never really been made clear to me considering the alternative arrangements that could have been found, this does send a certain message both to current residents of those neighbourhoods and to the residents of the entire city.

    "Those areas are still scary and in terminal decline. Move to Ambleside."

    Received, loud and clear. Second ring road, hurrah!

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    Very sad news but as Ken mentioned unfortunately necessary in some areas due to enrollment/resources and at least they are keeping them for potential re-use.

    With that said, I truly truly hope we can stem this epidemic of 'must go to new burbs'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post

    I feel sorry for the kids. The message is clear to anyone thinking of having kids, make sure you buy a new home in a new suburb on the edge of town close to where tax dollars are being spent on a new school, for if you attempt to recycle a mature neighborhood, your kids will probably be moved from one school to another at some point. How pathetic.
    ^

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    They older building will outlive their uses. I hope the city has the foresight to maintain them and keep them in good shape, they are a part of our building heritage.
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    The school board needs to work on their messages - what does it say to a community when you close the school and have no alternative plan for the building/land. Simply maintaining the building does not fill the void in the community that is created shutting the school.
    i'm not sure you can blame capilano's closure on suburbia and mcmansion lifestyles...
    No, it is not the sole reason to shut schools. The open boundary school system has its problems too. The bottom line is that yes Edmonton probably has too many schools - but I have a hard time accepting that we should continue to waste money and resources building new schools when the old ones are going unused.

  19. #19

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    [/QUOTE]
    No, it is not the sole reason to shut schools. The open boundary school system has its problems too. The bottom line is that yes Edmonton probably has too many schools - but I have a hard time accepting that we should continue to waste money and resources building new schools when the old ones are going unused.[/QUOTE]

    I suppose the same reasoning could be used for entire neighbourhoods.
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  20. #20

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    ^Yes, I happen to think so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desconocido View Post
    ^Yes, I happen to think so.
    so.. who should pay for this?
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    Pay for what? The expense of urban sprawl? My point is that we should use the resources that are already in place before approving new building permits on the outskirts of the city. Why pay for more roads, more utility transmissions, more schools, etc. when there is available capacity within the infrastructure already in place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desconocido View Post
    Pay for what? The expense of urban sprawl? My point is that we should use the resources that are already in place before approving new building permits on the outskirts of the city. Why pay for more roads, more utility transmissions, more schools, etc. when there is available capacity within the infrastructure already in place.
    Your premis is sound but without knowing the state of the buildings and their potential to meet modern educational needs it difficult for me to speak to that.

    I have to assume that this information was factored into the decision to move on so to speak.
    For what it's worth, the "Urban Sprawl" you refer to is a direct result of the current city trend to acquire more and more taxpayers under it's control.
    It has little to do with the decay of neighbourhoods that have out lived their usefullness.
    Perhaps if there was some sort of incentive to maintian properties at or above the current standards these districts you cherish would be more attractive to homeowners.
    I have always felt that there should be a levy placed on buildings that are allowed to wither and perhaps that new window and that coat of paint and new fence etc could revitalize such neighbourhoods.
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    I will certainly not be handing one more dime to the EPSB and many in Parkdale will be redirecting school taxes to the separate system that has a school in the neighborhood, & I will encourage all others in our neighborhood to do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parker View Post
    What a shame -- end of many eras at once. Besides the 'economics' of the situation, that have never really been made clear to me considering the alternative arrangements that could have been found, this does send a certain message both to current residents of those neighbourhoods and to the residents of the entire city.

    "Those areas are still scary and in terminal decline. Move to Ambleside."

    Received, loud and clear. Second ring road, hurrah!
    the "message" being received however isn't quite the same as the message being sent or the facts behind it for that matter.

    if we want to continue to use closing capilano as an example, capilano school is located at 10720 - 54 street.

    if one wants to look only at east/west proximity, hardisty school is located at 10534 - 62 street. and goldbar school is located at 10524 - 46 street.

    alternative schools in a north south direction are probably also available within the public school system and there are also alternative schools in the catholic school system (part of the problem both systems face but that's a different discussion but if we were having that one we might not be having this one in the same manner), all of which are in the same community if not the immediate neighborhood.

    in the neighborhoods where these schools are being closed, there are for the most part exisiting alternative community schools. where the province is funding new schools in the city, there are none. the students in the schools being closed have community alternatives (even when their parents choose for them to attend schools outside of their community, further exacerbating the problems). the students who will attend the new schools - and their parents - do not have the luxury of those options.

    these cannot have been easy decisions for the trustees to have made but they have more information that most posting here seem to have based on their posts. and i am sure that each and every one of their decisions was made in the best interests of the overall system and of the students within it. that doesn't mean that all of their decisions will be correct all of the time but to question the overall wisdom and good faith behind them would - in my opinion - be incorrect.
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    ^please explain why the provice is spending half a billion plus on new schools, when we have unfilled schools already? The school board trustees should be making it clear to the Province and City that these schools aren't needed, that really will save a lot of money (not to mention, encourage parents to move closer in to recycle mature neighborhoods, either that, or drive).
    Last edited by moahunter; 14-04-2010 at 02:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    these cannot have been easy decisions for the trustees to have made but they have more information that most posting here seem to have based on their posts. and i am sure that each and every one of their decisions was made in the best interests of the overall system and of the students within it. that doesn't mean that all of their decisions will be correct all of the time but to question the overall wisdom and good faith behind them would - in my opinion - be incorrect.
    From the Community School Coalition (of which I am a member) on the priorities of trustees:

    Asked to provide a statement of personal values that will guide their decision-making for the school closure vote, seven of nine trustees have declined, instead submitting a joint declaration of their faith in the process.

    Trustees Dave Colburn and Sue Huff were the only elected officials to speak their minds. They pledged to put the needs of children before those of the institution and to respect the views of people in the affected neighbourhoods.

    Said Trustee Colburn: "in the best interests of this community..."

    Said Trustee Huff: "in the best interests of children..."

    Said Seven of Nine: "in the best interests of the corporation..."

    The statements were collected by award-winning Edmonton Journal education reporter Sarah O'Donnell.
    As was obvious would happen, most trustees voted "yes" to every closure. Sue Huff voted against locking up McCauley, Fulton Place and Parkdale, as did Dave Colburn, who also said "no" to closing Eastwood and Capilano.

    To date, the trustees we elected in 2007 have not turned down so much as one proposal put to them to rubber stamp by the administration.

    I officially hereby question their overall wisdom and good faith.
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    ^ The problem Ken is that several of the schools that are closing offer programs that no other schools do... programs that are in place to meet the needs of the demographics within that neighborhood. Kids are going to lose out no matter what.

    And I do have a problem subsidizing new schools in far flung suburbs when the one in my neighborhood shuts down. I hope every inner city resident who lives in an affected neighborhood redirects their taxes to schools that support their neighborhoods.
    Last edited by 240GLT; 14-04-2010 at 03:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    ^ The problem Ken is that several of the schools that are closing offer programs that no other schools do... programs that are in place to meet the needs of the demographics within that neighborhood. Kids are going to lose out no matter what.

    And I do have a problem subsidizing new schools in far flung suburbs when the one in my neighborhood shuts down. I hope every inner city resident who lives in an affected neighborhood redirects their taxes to schools that support their neighborhoods.
    and what would you do with the taxes of your neighbors who elect to have their children attend schools outside of your neighborhood that hasten if not outright cause that same closure...

    and how do you counter their argument that they are only sending their children to a school "that ofers programs no other school does"?

    edmonton catholic operated 87 schools this year and edmonton public operated 195. of edmonton public's 195, 154 of them offered elementary school classes in 127 elementary schools, 20 elementary/junior high schools and 7 elementary/junior high/senior high schools. this doesn't include the myriad charter and private schools in the city.

    exactly how many truly unique "programs no other schools offer" do we really think there are out there? and how many of them are not transportable for 8 or 9 blocks?

    going back to capilano as an example, for an elementary school student living immediately across the road at 54th street and 107 avenue, how much out of the neighborhood is he or she really going to be walking 8 or 9 blocks in one direction or the other to hardisty or goldbar (noting that a capilano student living halfway between capilano and either of those alternatives is walking the same 4 or 5 blocks after capilano closes as before, just in a different direction)?
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    it will save millions if catholic and public merge together into one and it will not be any more of school closures in the future
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    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    it will save millions if catholic and public merge together into one and it will not be any more of school closures in the future
    This has not been well thought out. If a neighborhood has two elementary schools (one catholic and one public) running with half capacity or less and they MERGE then one of the buildings will close!

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    both should have merge long time ago, but now it is too late.
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    For all the money the province lays out for infrastructure in new areas, why not offer a tax incentive to purchase in the older areas and renovate or outright build new. I wonder if that would spur people with young families to consider the older areas and thus revitalize them. In turn, schools would not need closure. Rather upgrades which cost far less than construction of brand new buildings, roads and the land costs to put them on. Believe it or not, kids don't need to have everything new.
    My Son attends a small school that was set to close several years ago. The parents and school staff rallied for it to stay open. To do so, it was turned into a science academy for G 1-6. It's classrooms now full to capacity. The curriculum change saved this little school in an 35-40 year old area.It took an effort and creative idea to accomplish it.
    I really believe there is little original thought when it come to the revitalization of old neighbourhoods. It's far more than just schools and buildings. It's the way they buildings are constructed, what new construction is permitted and what amenities are available are what I think pull people to a certain area. Beverly Heights exceeds 50 years old and has everything I need to raise my family.And without the mud,noise,construction and higher taxes of a cookie cutter hood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post

    Asked to provide a statement of personal values that will guide their decision-making for the school closure vote, seven of nine trustees have declined, instead submitting a joint declaration of their faith in the process.

    Trustees Dave Colburn and Sue Huff were the only elected officials to speak their minds. They pledged to put the needs of children before those of the institution and to respect the views of people in the affected neighbourhoods.

    Said Trustee Colburn: "in the best interests of this community..."

    Said Trustee Huff: "in the best interests of children..."

    Said Seven of Nine: "in the best interests of the corporation..."

    The statements were collected by award-winning Edmonton Journal education reporter Sarah O'Donnell.
    As was obvious would happen, most trustees voted "yes" to every closure. Sue Huff voted against locking up McCauley, Fulton Place and Parkdale, as did Dave Colburn, who also said "no" to closing Eastwood and Capilano.

    To date, the trustees we elected in 2007 have not turned down so much as one proposal put to them to rubber stamp by the administration.

    I officially hereby question their overall wisdom and good faith.
    This is good info to retain for the upcoming municipal election.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    I do have to ask though - do families carry the blame too? I wonder how many parents in the inner neighborhoods are sending their kids to brand-new shiny schools in the burbs due to academic reasons or out of some sense of status attainment?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    ^ The problem Ken is that several of the schools that are closing offer programs that no other schools do... programs that are in place to meet the needs of the demographics within that neighborhood. Kids are going to lose out no matter what.

    And I do have a problem subsidizing new schools in far flung suburbs when the one in my neighborhood shuts down. I hope every inner city resident who lives in an affected neighborhood redirects their taxes to schools that support their neighborhoods.
    and what would you do with the taxes of your neighbors who elect to have their children attend schools outside of your neighborhood that hasten if not outright cause that same closure...
    and how do you counter their argument that they are only sending their children to a school "that ofers programs no other school does"?

    edmonton catholic operated 87 schools this year and edmonton public operated 195. of edmonton public's 195, 154 of them offered elementary school classes in 127 elementary schools, 20 elementary/junior high schools and 7 elementary/junior high/senior high schools. this doesn't include the myriad charter and private schools in the city.

    exactly how many truly unique "programs no other schools offer" do we really think there are out there? and how many of them are not transportable for 8 or 9 blocks?

    going back to capilano as an example, for an elementary school student living immediately across the road at 54th street and 107 avenue, how much out of the neighborhood is he or she really going to be walking 8 or 9 blocks in one direction or the other to hardisty or goldbar (noting that a capilano student living halfway between capilano and either of those alternatives is walking the same 4 or 5 blocks after capilano closes as before, just in a different direction)?
    Actually Ken, Parkdale and McCauley are only two schools that offer lunch programs for students.. students that otherwise would likely go without food for an entire day because of their parents inability to pay. Also, In Parkdales' case, the school has become a school of no aother alternative for many families, and the programming has been stripped down so that really it primarily caters to low income kids.

    It's easy to simplify the situation from your standpoint I'm sure, but if you lived among & talked with the parents that send their kids to Parkdale you'd realize that the problem is a lot more complicated than simply bussing kids to the next school. These closures are going to ensure that kids fall through the cracks, perpetuating the cycle that put them in their social & economic situations in the first place.

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    Default School closure consulting questioned

    The public school board hired an Ottawa consulting firm, at a cost of about $260,000, to meet with parents in the weeks leading up to the final decision on the closures. In the end, every closure recommended by board administrators was approved.
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    ^ Overall, the budget for gathering feedback for the sector reviews was $500,000. The Dialogue Partners portion covered facilitated public engagement.

    The EPSB hired Cambridge Strategies to research the "key values that Edmontonians should guide and drive issues and approaches to school closures."

    In the days before the closure vote, Ken Chapman, senior partner for the company, spoke out to express his concern that trustees were ignoring the wishes of the public, indeed doing the exact opposite of what survey results said Edmontonians wanted.

    This is what Cambridge Strategies found in its research:

    Schools were seen as vital to the health and vibrancy of the overall community. So the school closure issues are much more than cost, it is about education quality and the sense of community. There was a dominant value focus on keeping a school open and adpated to meet community needs regardless of enrollment statistics.
    As a solution to the problem of space not currently needed for instructional purposes, Chapman noted this alternative approach would enjoy popular support:

    The studies have been done and wrap-around schools are concepts that are well proven to work and benefit education and community outcomes. The full cost and life cycle accounting methods for multi-use adaptive facility design is ready to be made the new standard for educational infrastructure decisions. The political will is there to make this cultural shift from the current Minister of Education. There a need for a more effective collaborative linking of the local community, the municipality and school boards to serve the greater good of neighbourhoods and students best interests when considering school closure decisions.
    I observed the work or Dialogue Partners throughout this process. There were flaws. But the disconnection between what people said, and what trustees decided to do, was not the fault of the consultant. The elected board decided that the public was wrong and did its own thing.

    Ken Chapman summed up what most people wanted to the board to do in the title of his article:

    Don't Close Schools! Integrate and Adapt schools into the Community!
    http://ken-chapman.blogspot.com/2010...and-adapt.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    ...
    Actually Ken, Parkdale and McCauley are only two schools that offer lunch programs for students.. students that otherwise would likely go without food for an entire day because of their parents inability to pay. Also, In Parkdales' case, the school has become a school of no aother alternative for many families, and the programming has been stripped down so that really it primarily caters to low income kids.

    It's easy to simplify the situation from your standpoint I'm sure, but if you lived among & talked with the parents that send their kids to Parkdale you'd realize that the problem is a lot more complicated than simply bussing kids to the next school. These closures are going to ensure that kids fall through the cracks, perpetuating the cycle that put them in their social & economic situations in the first place.
    i think focusing only on individual schools and not neighborhood/community schools is what is "easy to simplify".

    in parkdale's case - if you want to move from capilano as an example - parkdale is located at 11648 85 street.

    delton is at 12126 89 street.

    eastwood is at 12023 81 street.

    spruce avenue (for the junior high students) is at 11424 102 street.

    st alphonsus is at 11624 81 street.

    st gerard is at 12415 85 street.

    101 of the 149 eligible students in parkdale's catchment area attend schools other than parkdale already.

    moving over to your other example, mccauley is located at 9538 107 avenue.

    norwood is located at 9520 111 avenue.

    macdougall is located at 10930 107 street.

    mother teresa is located at 9008 105a avenue.

    mccauley is also pretty close to what was alex taylor which is equidistant between mccauley and riverdale... perhaps if that closure had been looked at more closely on an area rather than an individual school basis (which is how the system should be run) earlier, some of the current discussions would be less acrimonious.

    123 of the 171 eligible students in mccauley's catchment area attend schools other than mccauley already.

    perhaps if those students attending elsewhere lost their "open boundaries" alternatives, parkdale and mccauley would be more viable. and perhaps some of parkdale's and mccauley's "special programs" can well move with the students who require them (and potentially be made available to other students in the system who would also benefit equally from them). but either of those solutions - or others like them - would be much less simplistic than simply insisting "they can't close our school", regardless of which school that might be "because there is no alternative".

    i live in riverdale and talk to a lot more parents and other community members there and elsewhere that use their schools as a focal point for more than you give me credit for.

    it's easy to say "these closures are going to ensure that kids fall through the cracks, perpetuating the cycle that put them in their social & economic situations in the first place" but there are kids falling through the cracks, perpetuating the cycle that put them in their social & economic situations in the first place already and the status quo has exacerbated that rather than solving it for a long time.
    Last edited by kcantor; 15-04-2010 at 10:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    ...
    Actually Ken, Parkdale and McCauley are only two schools that offer lunch programs for students.. students that otherwise would likely go without food for an entire day because of their parents inability to pay. Also, In Parkdales' case, the school has become a school of no aother alternative for many families, and the programming has been stripped down so that really it primarily caters to low income kids.

    It's easy to simplify the situation from your standpoint I'm sure, but if you lived among & talked with the parents that send their kids to Parkdale you'd realize that the problem is a lot more complicated than simply bussing kids to the next school. These closures are going to ensure that kids fall through the cracks, perpetuating the cycle that put them in their social & economic situations in the first place.
    i think focusing only on individual schools and not neighborhood/community schools is what is "easy to simplify".

    in parkdale's case - if you want to move from capilano as an example - parkdale is located at 11648 85 street.

    delton is at 12126 89 street.

    eastwood is at 12023 81 street.

    spruce avenue (for the junior high students) is at 11424 102 street.

    st alphonsus is at 11624 81 street.

    st gerard is at 12415 85 street.

    101 of the 149 eligible students in parkdale's catchment area attend schools other than parkdale already.

    moving over to your other example, mccauley is located at 9538 107 avenue.

    norwood is located at 9520 111 avenue.

    macdougall is located at 10930 107 street.

    mother teresa is located at 9008 105a avenue.

    mccauley is also pretty close to what was alex taylor which is equidistant between mccauley and riverdale... perhaps if that closure had been looked at more closely on an area rather than an individual school basis (which is how the system should be run) earlier, some of the current discussions would be less acrimonious.

    123 of the 171 eligible students in mccauley's catchment area attend schools other than mccauley already.

    perhaps if those students attending elsewhere lost their "open boundaries" alternatives, parkdale and mccauley would be more viable. and perhaps some of parkdale's and mccauley's "special programs" can well move with the students who require them (and potentially be made available to other students in the system who would also benefit equally from them). but either of those solutions - or others like them - would be much less simplistic than simply insisting "they can't close our school", regardless of which school that might be "because there is no alternative".

    i live in riverdale and talk to a lot more parents and other community members there and elsewhere that use their schools as a focal point for more than you give me credit for.

    it's easy to say "these closures are going to ensure that kids fall through the cracks, perpetuating the cycle that put them in their social & economic situations in the first place" but there are kids falling through the cracks, perpetuating the cycle that put them in their social & economic situations in the first place already and the status quo has exacerbated that rather than solving it for a long time.
    You're failing to understand the importance of that one school to a small group of people, and I don't believe you understand the challenges that these families face. Of course Parkdale school is under utilized, but the programs they have serve a very vulnerable and underpriveledged gorup. Could these programs just move to another school ? Probably, but I bet they won't, and the kids who were supported by those programs will suffer all that much more.

    You're right about the status quo, if something had been done to make Parkdale a more attractive option and the ridiculous open boundary policy didn't exist, things would be a lot different. Unfortunately it's a 'poor' school in a 'poor' neighborhood, and as such doe not garner the attention that it really deserves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    You're failing to understand the importance of that one school to a small group of people, and I don't believe you understand the challenges that these families face.
    Even a "little thing", like having children arive on time for a bus (as opposed to arriving at school when able to), can be an unrealistic expectation for some families in these neighborhoods (especially when waiting for the bus, isn't that safe on some streets without an adult supervising).

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    ^ exactly. You'd be shocked at the condition of some of these kids I see walking to Parkdale school in the morning... Not wearing a jacket in the winter, not carrying any books or a lunch... it's about much more than having to hop on a bus for a trip to the next neighborhood.

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    I suppose at the end of this we can blame open boundaries and the parents who choose to exercise that right. If 40 % (I think that was a figure in this thread) of the kids in the area dont even go to the area school, is it the schoolboard who is killing the community? Or the people in the community who wont send there kids to the local school because they want little Jonny in an 'arts/sports/whatever specialized' program?
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    Parkdale kind of stood out when I looked at the profiles, because so many children live near the building. Within the attendance area, 450 students are registered in the public system (K-9), but most of them head elsewhere for their education. Few people from outside the neighbourhood come to Parkdale as an open boundaries preference.

    Most of the schools included in the closure motion are in areas with demographic challenges, but that wasn't the case with Parkdale. On this one, you can't blame city planning policies. For whatever reason, there is a perception among many area parents that Parkdale School does not meet the needs of their children.

    That's what the process should have addressed: why isn't Parkdale attracting its fair share of students, and what can the EPSB do to change that? There should have been a discussion with the community about what it wants. I suspect, with the revitalization and subsequent gentrification of 118th Avenue, some middle-income parents don't consider a CCEP school to be a good fit for their kids.

    A better result might have been to consolidate CCEP programming at Delton, on the north side of 118th Avenue, and use Parkdale, on the south side, as a school with a fine arts emphasis, perhaps affiliated with Victoria. That would have kept the social capital in the community (something which the inner city requires) and given area residents what the EPSB believes is the most important thing in the whole world: choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    ...

    You're failing to understand the importance of that one school to a small group of people, and I don't believe you understand the challenges that these families face. Of course Parkdale school is under utilized, but the programs they have serve a very vulnerable and underpriveledged gorup. Could these programs just move to another school ? Probably, but I bet they won't, and the kids who were supported by those programs will suffer all that much more.

    You're right about the status quo, if something had been done to make Parkdale a more attractive option and the ridiculous open boundary policy didn't exist, things would be a lot different. Unfortunately it's a 'poor' school in a 'poor' neighborhood, and as such doe not garner the attention that it really deserves.
    no, i think i do understand. just as every school facing closure or potential has an ever-increasing measure of importance attached to it by the small group that is affected (and please note that i am not saying their concerns aren't real or that they aren't important). the response would be no different if parkdale wasn't on the list but riverdale was (and some would say based on the numbers that's what should have happened but riverdale is "an expert community" at lobbying and protesting).

    and there may be a "balance" at some point between maintaining open boundaries and still lessening the impact of declining local school attendance. maybe it's as simple as saying the boundaries remain open but the funding stays with the neighborhood school. so the choice remains but if schools want to compete for attendance from other catchment areas, they have to find some other way to fund it (perhaps by imposing an additional fee on students from outside their own catchment area which would be no different that what parents pay charter or private schools). and perhaps the additional dollars that would then be injected into the system will support some of those lunch programs and special needs...
    Last edited by kcantor; 15-04-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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    ^ That's a good idea. As a parent, if my child wanted to enter some sort of special program, or simply liked better an out of neighborhood school (note, not a special needs program, I think they should be covered), I think it would be reasonable to be expected to pay more.

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    Default Huff resigns as board vice-chair over school closures

    Huff resigns as board vice-chair over school closures
    Last Updated: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | 11:33 AM MT
    CBC News

    A decision to close five central Edmonton public schools two weeks ago prompted trustee Sue Huff to resign her position as vice-chair of the board Tuesday night.

    "A big part of the job is to be willing to step in if the board chair is unavailable and speak on behalf of the board with credibility and I just don't think that I can do that anymore," Huff said.

    "So I think it's in the best interest for the board for me to step aside and let somebody else step in."

    On April 13, a majority of trustees voted to close Capilano, Fulton Place, Eastwood, McCauley and Parkdale schools despite impassioned pleas of parents.

    The elementary school program at Spruce Avenue school will also be closed. Huff voted against most of the closures.

    Huff will continue in her role as trustee. Her replacement as the vice-chair will be decided at the next board meeting on May 11.

    Story Found At: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/st...#ixzz0mPz3xLA0

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    The Huff will get my vote if she runs again.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    ^why would she want to? It seems there is no place for intelligent rational people on the public school boards, all they will get is grief.

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    Sad to know that someone who fought vehemently FOR retaining central schools is now not there to fight the good fight.

    Instead, let's build all new ones to cater to our ever increasing waistline and ever decreasing intelligence.
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    Huff is still staying on as a trustee. Whether she's up for re-election or not, who knows.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Huff is still staying on as a trustee. Whether she's up for re-election or not, who knows.
    She is not going to be running again. Not good news at all. She's what we needed on the board.

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/st...teps-down.html

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    Default Trustee Huff won't run in fall election

    Trustee Huff won't run in fall election
    Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | 7:59 AM MT
    CBC News

    Edmonton public school trustee Sue Huff says she will not run in the fall municipal election.

    Just last month, Huff resigned as the board's vice-chair in the aftermath of the decision to close five central Edmonton public schools.

    But Huff told CBC News on Monday that her decision not to run for a second term in the Oct. 18 election was not related to the closures, which she opposed.

    "It wasn't linked to one board outcome or one board decision," said Huff, who was elected in 2007. "I think it was something that I've been thinking about quite seriously for a number of months."

    The decision wasn't easy, she said.

    Dale Hudjik, a member of the Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Edmonton Schools, an organization that looks into promoting quality candidates for school boards, said he is sorry Huff won't run again.

    "Unfortunately, this is not in the best interests of the community," he said. "She was doing some excellent work."

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/st...#ixzz0ndlxLJMI

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    So how long will it take for the EPSB to sell these facilities to the city at a dollar each for conversion into low income, mutli family housing, neighborhood- community league use etcetera etcetera ..............
    ............ Still waiting ............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    So how long will it take for the EPSB to sell these facilities to the city at a dollar each for conversion into low income, mutli family housing, neighborhood- community league use etcetera etcetera ..............
    ............ Still waiting ............
    At least then, the buildings would be used, instead of sitting empty and deteriorating until they need to be torn down. Then once we see some changes in community density, maybe they can once again be used as schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by parker View Post
    What a shame -- end of many eras at once. Besides the 'economics' of the situation, that have never really been made clear to me considering the alternative arrangements that could have been found, this does send a certain message both to current residents of those neighbourhoods and to the residents of the entire city.

    "Those areas are still scary and in terminal decline. Move to Ambleside."

    Received, loud and clear. Second ring road, hurrah!
    the "message" being received however isn't quite the same as the message being sent or the facts behind it for that matter.

    if we want to continue to use closing capilano as an example, capilano school is located at 10720 - 54 street.

    if one wants to look only at east/west proximity, hardisty school is located at 10534 - 62 street. and goldbar school is located at 10524 - 46 street.

    alternative schools in a north south direction are probably also available within the public school system and there are also alternative schools in the catholic school system (part of the problem both systems face but that's a different discussion but if we were having that one we might not be having this one in the same manner), all of which are in the same community if not the immediate neighborhood.

    in the neighborhoods where these schools are being closed, there are for the most part exisiting alternative community schools. where the province is funding new schools in the city, there are none. the students in the schools being closed have community alternatives (even when their parents choose for them to attend schools outside of their community, further exacerbating the problems). the students who will attend the new schools - and their parents - do not have the luxury of those options.

    these cannot have been easy decisions for the trustees to have made but they have more information that most posting here seem to have based on their posts. and i am sure that each and every one of their decisions was made in the best interests of the overall system and of the students within it. that doesn't mean that all of their decisions will be correct all of the time but to question the overall wisdom and good faith behind them would - in my opinion - be incorrect.
    Good post.

    Old schools need a lot of revamping/renos to bring them up to standards, as well - new furnaces, updated wiring, windows, doors, insulation. Classrooms often don't have enough space, they're not properly outfitted for computers, smart boards, etc. So, retaining an old school with minimal enrollment is not always the best option. And you're absolutely correct, older neighbourhoods often have 3 or 4 schools very close together, as they were built during population booms, and at a time when kids didn't bus to school, and boundaries were closed.

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    That argument might have applied to a few of the closed schools, but certainly not all of them. Eastwood, for example, did need upgrades and was reasonably close to two other EPSB schools, but one of those nearby schools (Parkdale) was also closed. Closing McCauley school made even less sense, as it had already been substantially upgraded and was the only remaining EPSB school in the neighborhood.

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    All of those schools were closed due to low enrolment.

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    ^ Nope. Fulton Place was serving more than 360 children, including 220 in K-6. It was closed because space was available at Hardisty School to create an elementary component.

    A factor in closing McCauley and Parkdale was a plan to create a large junior high school at Spruce Avenue.

    The EPSB is spending more than $2.2 million this summer to renovate buildings to house displaced students. With an average savings of $100,000 to $200,000 annually for each closed school, it will be more than a decade before any cost advantages are realized.
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    The issue with Fulton Place, though, was addressing low enrolment in the Greater Hardisty area.

    You can't look only at capital expenditures. You also have to look at ongoing expenditures, particularly staffing, which would far exceed $200,000 annually.

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    ^Fulton Place would have larger expenditures due to the specialty programs it housed, though (Logos, special education). Moving the program to another school in the area isn't going to change the staffing needs or associated expenditures.
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    ^^ The number of teachers and assistants employed in the district is determined by class size guidelines and (this system will change soon) coding for special conditions. Moving children from one building to another doesn't alter those ratios.

    The savings are limited to principal's salary and some custodial and maintanance costs.
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    The ratios do change a little. Consolidation may mean 2 fewer teachers are hired. Further, COLA is kicking in under the contract next year, so there are going to be cuts in almost all schools. I know for a fact that one large high school is going to lose 3 full time positions solely because of this.

    Not all special conditions get additional dollars, and even when kids are coded, they that funding is not always allocated to the child. My brother had a coded child in his classroom last year, but didn't get an aide until May (because Alberta Education would be reviewing the file).

    Finally, in the case of Fulton, as at September 30 (date funding is set for the child for the year), they had 218 students. The non staff operational costs for the school were over $180,000 annually. Most of those expenses were utilities/plant maintenance/district services. Those costs are reduced on consolidation.

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    Interesting map on the Journal of where kids live, and where schools are. Looks to me, like they all live in the city of Edmonton, so we don't need new schools until the ones we have are full.

    http://www.shareedmonton.ca/maps/201...journal/iframe

    Note - you can "uncheck" boxes on right to make it more readable.

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    Default Comment from a renegade

    This is not my scenario but ....
    So you have kids going to a school in your neighborhood that is now or soon to be under review. You have limited financial means so the school represents a major point of stability in both your children's and your "community" life.
    When tax time comes around and you see that the amount that you are required to pay to the school board in taxes, how do you react ?
    Are you tempted to withhold payment as your political statement ?

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    ^interesting scenario and one that communities should consider even if as means of attention to the situation.
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    ^^ In some of the communities affected by closure a few residents are planning to redirect their education taxes to the Catholic system.
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    Default cross post

    Keeping schools open will save money

    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...ad.php?t=17397

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