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Thread: Change is coming. Be a part of it.

  1. #1
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    Default Change is coming. Be a part of it.

    At Dialogue Partners, we are working with Edmonton Public Schools to engage the public in Sector Planning Review in Central, South Central and West 1 sectors.

    What is sector planning? The goal of sector planning is to make the best possible use of available resources so that all students have access to vibrant schools and quality programs in their sectors. Sector review might mean change. Possible outcomes include status quo, combining schools together, reorganization or relocation of programs or closure of some schools.

    The public engagement process provides multiple opportunities for all interested parents, teachers, community members and the general public to be involved in dialogue on the issues, in a variety of ways.

    How do we make the best use of the available resources so that all children have access to vibrant schools and a range of quality programs in their sector?

    Here are some basic facts:

    • Vibrant schools with a range of quality programs that help every child reach their potential is the goal of Edmonton Public Schools. Reduced funding as a result of declining enrolment makes it challenging to deliver a range of quality programming, activities and support to students.

    • There are 20 schools under review in Central Sector, where there is enrolment of 5,637 students, and between 3,291* and 4,335** surplus spaces.

    • There are 26 schools under review in South Central Sector, where there is enrolment of 7,307 students, and between 3,664* and 5,198** surplus spaces.

    • There are 24 schools under review in West 1 Sector, where there is enrolment of 6,612 students, and between 4,190* and 5,225** surplus spaces.

    • Provincial funding for teaching is provided per student.

    • Provincial funding for maintenance is tied to the number of students the district has, rather than the amount of space it maintains.

    • Edmonton Public Schools offer families a choice. Students are not limited to their designated school and parents can choose to have their children attend any school in the city providing that there is sufficient space and the student meets any entrance criteria. Community schools and schools with alternative programs are both important.

    • Edmonton Public Schools, the City of Edmonton and the Province are meeting, discussing and working together on these important issues.

    • Edmonton Public Schools is committed to understanding and considering the input of interested and affected people on this issue, and reflecting how that input is used in recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

    Note: there is more data on the sector review website at www.sectorreview2010.com
    * ACOL - student spaces based on a count of classrooms and the number of students that can be accommodated in them. This is based on recommendations of the Alberta Commission on Learning.
    ** ACU - Area, Capacity and Utilization. The ACU capacity looks at square footage of the building and is based on safety codes for the maximum number of people a building can hold.

    These basic realities place financial, educational and community challenges upon Edmonton Public schools. We want your input to identify ways to address this complex issue.

    There are some basic principles that underlie this conversation, and how the public engagement process is being conducted. They include:

    Inclusion – all voices are valued, and all input is important. We know from the input we have received so far that there is a wide diversity of views on this issue, and each individual has a right to a voice, and everyone will be provided an opportunity to speak for themselves. If small groups of like-minded people want to provide input, we welcome it, just as we welcome the diversity of views from individuals across the sectors.

    Constructive and Respectful engagement – people are passionate about their children and communities. We want everyone to be able to share what is important to them, in a way that is respectful and constructive of diverse views and values, and doesn’t polarize people or communities.

    This is a complex issue – There is no easy solution, and no “right” answer to the opportunities and challenges posed by sector planning. There are a wide variety of issues to be considered, and a diversity of values, needs and considerations. Since the diversity of views is vastly different, understanding will come from both sharing what is important individually, and understanding what is important to others. We’ll be as thorough as we can with providing information, and we encourage you to consider the complete picture on this complex issue so you can provide informed input, rather than relying on “bits” and “pieces” of information that don’t tell the whole story.

    Accountable and Transparent process – We will report on everything we hear, and respond to inquiries and requests for information and share these answers with everyone. We’ll communicate frequently and in a number of ways.

    Multiple opportunities to provide input in a conversation that builds on itself – As defined by the International Association of Public Participation www.iap2.org, meaningful public engagement is built on three foundations: 1) Decision-oriented – gathering input in order to develop recommendations for moving forward; 2) Goal Focused – engaging people with a purpose and objective; and 3) Values based – understanding and considering people’s values and what is important to them. The public engagement process for sector planning includes these foundations. This spring discussion will focus on values based issues, and in the fall on bringing together those values with the facts and realities and asking people to identify options going forward. There are multiple ways to provide your input throughout the engagement process.

    So….that said…. How do we make the best use of the available resources so that all children have access to vibrant schools and a range of quality programs in their sector? What is important to you? What needs to be considered?

    Stephani Roy McCallum
    Managing Director, Dialogue Partners Inc.
    Edmonton Public Schools Sector Planning Review
    Last edited by NoreneS; 10-06-2010 at 01:08 AM. Reason: New version sent; wrong one provided first time by columnist.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoreneS View Post
    Tell us what’s important to you?

    -- Ian K. McCallum, Dialogue Partners
    The Province should immediatley stop wasting my tax dollars building new schools when we have plenty of schools already in Edmonton city that need to be filled first.

  3. #3

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    Get rid of the Catholic School Board and merge the system to avoid redundancy.
    There's many public schools in close proximity of Catholic schools and they would do better by merging.

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    The Community Schools Coalition has put together handouts for the sectors under review.

    http://www.community-schools.org/8.html

    As long as the EPSB continues to consider early education classrooms and computer labs as empty spaces, it is hard to move forward with a meaningful discussion. What does use really look like in the sectors? Are there groups interested in partnerships? Where are likely infill sites that could affect future demand for education?

    I spent a year on the sector review public engagement committee asking these questions. My best guess is that answers are not forthcoming because they would not support the result of school closures on a massive scale.

    With the conclusion already settled, the focus seems to be on justification, not involvement in the decision-making process.

    Although I should note, and forget to do this sometimes, that the people working on the project for Dialogue Partners and the EPSB planning department are genuinely nice.
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    I found out last night that one of the schools in the south central area (Ottewell) has had a school bus program for years where they bussed in kids from further south in mill woods on yellow school busses. This program is now being cancelled and the kids will now have to find their own way there, or move to other schools. As a result, the enrollment will be going down over the next few years and this will certainly not help.

    Why cancel a smart program like that?

  6. #6
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    Default School building utilization

    I understand that the school boards are mandated to take into account the education of enrolled school students. But there needs to be a way for school utilization decisions to take into account community services and impacts.

    It is important for the education establishment to get out of the silo and work with a larger perspective. If this requires legislation, it should be sought. If it requires cross-organization conversations, let's get to it.

    If the whole cost of school structures falls upon the school boards, this is a lot - particularly with overbuilt and older schools. So where are the white knights who can help with more intelligent resource allocation?

    Our institutional structures may not fit current needs. Who is looking at such issues?

  7. #7

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    It's time to merge the 2 school boards. By all means keep a couple of hours a week to educate kids on ALL religions but leave the rest up to the parents. Get the parents to take their kids to their place of worship to learn their beliefs.
    Start utilizing the inner city schools. Upgrade them if you have to. Think about busing kids from the burbs to the inner city schools.
    Talk to the mayor and councillors about inner-city schools closing and what can be done to stop that.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    I think the Catholic and Public School Boards should get together and discuss ways to reduce duplication of services.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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    Default Catholic and Edmonton School Boards

    I wouldn't be so hasty on proposing a merger. The Catholic School system as a whole, from what I've heard, is more hospitable, less rigid, more student-oriented, than Edmonton Public Schools. There is value in their smaller and perhaps more flexible, model.

    My own experience with EPSB suggests that it may require attrition before there is a meaningful change. That doesn't mean that there are not innovative, hospitable, exciting schools in the public school system, nor that many children are not deeply engaged with learning. But these qualities don't seem to characterize the system, especially for those who do not easily fit in, like more recent immigrants. How the system will respond to the new mix-and-merge approach to grouping children in classrooms is anybody's guess. But that change will definitely add stress to many teachers, students and parents.

    I think quality is the leverage point if the schools are to serve the purpose of the larger community of building involved and productive citizenry. Economy must serve the point of greatest leverage. The principle of economizing is a great servant and a terrible master.

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    why should taxpayers spend millions to support 2 different school boards ?? it is a waste of taxpayers's money into this.
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  11. #11

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    ^
    I went to both schools. The only difference is religion classes and being forced to go to mass and things like that.

    It really is redundant since many public schools are in close proximity which has for decades cause 'turf wars' like that one last week when someone was stabbed.

    It doubles the administration and it's not cost effective. It would be better to merge the schools.

    I especially have an issue with people thinking the public school system is less hospitable towards immigrants than catholic schools. It's not. They're about the same. The demographics for the location determine the ratio so it's mostly dependent where you are in the city. Technically, I found catholic schools to be slightly more biased towards newcomers when you start getting away from the core of the city.

    It would be better to reform the religious aspect into a general religious studies course that would teach all of the major religions without bias or favoritism. Schools are for learning. Save the preaching for church.

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    Catholic educational rights were included in Section 17 of the federal Alberta Act (1905), the foundational document for this province.

    They are reinforced in Section 29 of the Charter of Rights.

    Forcing a merger of the Edmonton Public and Edmonton Catholic School Boards would require a constitutional ammendment followed by new legislation at the federal and provincial levels.

    I suppose as part of sector reviews the EPSB could make an effort not to close schools in neighbourhoods only served by the public system. In other words, at least try to keep one school open in a community.

    BonnieO's observations are precise, I think. The Catholic district is advancing the idea of educating the whole child, investing in early learning strategies and creating partnerships with not-for-profit organizations. Edmonton Public is locked into the concept of "schools of choice" within a K-12 silo. Despite Minister Hancock's call for collaborative planning and wraparound services, the EPSB (and I credit trustees for being honest about this) makes decisions based on its self-interest as a "corporation."

    Here's the problem: what's the point of having a public system, if it doesn't serve the public, but rather serves itself?
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    I fail to see, in this day and age, a need for 2 different school systems.
    Things have changed a lot since Section 17 of the Federal Alberta Act (1905).
    In 1905 the predominant religion in Alberta (and the rest of Canada) was some form of Catholicism and some form of Protestant.
    Fast track 100 years to the present time. We are now a province and country of multiple religions.
    What of 1905 resonates today. We are into another century and going by these ancient rules.
    It is a complete waste of money having two systems.
    If parents are so gung ho about teaching their kids their beliefs let them take them to church. Why leave their personal choiceof religion up to the schools teach.
    Of course, there is the turf wars going on in the school system. Too many pen pushers in management and administration would not like to be out of a job if the school system merged.
    Last edited by Gemini; 13-06-2010 at 10:40 PM.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    Catholic educational rights were included in Section 17 of the federal Alberta Act (1905), the foundational document for this province is baseless right now because we have too many minorites in canada today so it is time for alberta to get rid of that section 17.
    Last edited by jagators63; 13-06-2010 at 09:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    Catholic educational rights were included in Section 17 of the federal Alberta Act (1905), the foundational document for this province.

    They are reinforced in Section 29 of the Charter of Rights.

    Forcing a merger of the Edmonton Public and Edmonton Catholic School Boards would require a constitutional ammendment followed by new legislation at the federal and provincial levels.

    I suppose as part of sector reviews the EPSB could make an effort not to close schools in neighbourhoods only served by the public system. In other words, at least try to keep one school open in a community.

    BonnieO's observations are precise, I think. The Catholic district is advancing the idea of educating the whole child, investing in early learning strategies and creating partnerships with not-for-profit organizations. Edmonton Public is locked into the concept of "schools of choice" within a K-12 silo. Despite Minister Hancock's call for collaborative planning and wraparound services, the EPSB (and I credit trustees for being honest about this) makes decisions based on its self-interest as a "corporation."

    Here's the problem: what's the point of having a public system, if it doesn't serve the public, but rather serves itself?
    There used to be a law in Calgary where if they ran you out of town, they had to give you a bag of gold and a horse. Laws need to be revised from time to time.

    No one is forcing anyone into quitting learning about their religion. They can go to sunday schools or completely private schools.

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    you know alberta gov't did got rid of regional health care and create it as superboard of health care so why not they do the same for school boards ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    you know alberta gov't did got rid of regional health care and create it as superboard of health care so why not they do the same for school boards ??
    The superboard sucks and following that model is impractical.
    Once we get a party in power that can do it right, we can do it but it won't be under the current party. You need transparency to do it right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    you know alberta gov't did got rid of regional health care and create it as superboard of health care so why not they do the same for school boards ??
    The superboard sucks and following that model is impractical.
    Once we get a party in power that can do it right, we can do it but it won't be under the current party. You need transparency to do it right.


    to tell you truth, this current or future gov't will never get it right because of politics
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    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    Catholic educational rights were included in Section 17 of the federal Alberta Act (1905), the foundational document for this province is baseless right now because we have too many minorites in canada today so it is time for alberta to get rid of that section 17.
    To be clear, a separate Catholic educational system was a precondition of Alberta becoming a province, and that guarantee can't be undone without change at the constitutional level.

    The Legislature does not have the authority to get rid of Catholic schools.

    Whether or not the dual system makes sense, we're stuck with it.

    We are not a Catholic family. But, after my wife read through the sector review documents, she insisted that we'd move our kids to the Catholic system, if our community school closes, based on the mismatch between our values and those currently prevailing at EPSB.
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    While I wouldn't send my kids to a religious school, I think the two tier system is fine. It provides some competition and options. For example, I know of a family that moved their kid from public system to catholic due to bullying, the reverse is also an option. And, you have the choice whether to fund the catholic system or not when you file your property taxes. I'd like to see more schools funded by the province, provided they don't receive more than the public or cathloic system per child, why not? I saw this in scandinavia where privately run schools (e.g. Handelsgymnasium) receive funding from taxpayers.

  21. #21

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    Separate school systems in this day and age are archaic.
    We have the separate system, which is perceived to take all other religions other than Catholic. Now we have the Catholics segregated from the rest of the student population. How special are they?.
    As we integrate and accept other nationalities and religions into the folds here we have the out of touch school boards separating the religions.
    The worlds populations are shifting all the time the school board needs to keep up with the times. A 1905 school act in this case does not reflect what is happening today. Have one school board, one mandate, quit opening designer schools, give all kids a rounded education and leave the individual religions up to the parents.
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    ^ It isn't the School Act, which is a provincial matter. Essentially, a constitutional right to Catholic education in Alberta was established by the federal government as a condition of provincehood.

    You may be right, Gemini, that specifying Catholism would violate modern equality provisions. However, Section 29 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires an exemption.

    Bottom line: Merger would require a constitutional ammendment to repeal Section 29, with legislative consent from the federal government and other provinces (which realistically would never happen.)
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    Catholic educational rights were included in Section 17 of the federal Alberta Act (1905), the foundational document for this province is baseless right now because we have too many minorites in canada today so it is time for alberta to get rid of that section 17.
    To be clear, a separate Catholic educational system was a precondition of Alberta becoming a province, and that guarantee can't be undone without change at the constitutional level.

    The Legislature does not have the authority to get rid of Catholic schools.

    Whether or not the dual system makes sense, we're stuck with it.

    We are not a Catholic family. But, after my wife read through the sector review documents, she insisted that we'd move our kids to the Catholic system, if our community school closes, based on the mismatch between our values and those currently prevailing at EPSB.
    What values does the Catholic schools offer that EPSB is lacking?
    I've gone to FX, St. Beriault, St. Joes, Belmead, Lynwood, Elmwood, Hillcrest, and a few others. Obviously, I was kind of a problem child so I got shuffled around often. What I did find by observation is that both school systems are identical in that both have teachers who lean heavily on personal bias.

    There's absolutely nothing in Catholic schools that make people any better. I've had friends in private schools and friends in juvie schools and honestly, the biggest scumbags were the private school kids who think they're special. The juvie guys weren't much better, but no one has expectations for them to do so.

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    ^ A priority for the Catholic School Board right now is collaboration. It has sought out creative partnerships with various government and not-for-profit organizations, for example around the construction of the new school in Clareview. The Catholic system is also further ahead in adopting the whole child approach advocated in Inspiring Education.

    By contrast, the EPSB emphasizes competition. Schools are expected to fight for students and resources. Trustees see themselves as part of a corporate board of directors charged with acting in the best interests of the institution. Not-for-profit groups and early education providers occupying school space are treated as burdens, not partners.

    Within these different systemic approaches are schools: most of which are good at some things and not so good at others. Although it is generally true that the public district has been slow to move toward whole child education, the school my children attend is a leader in this movement, because parents, staff and community members made it a special area of focus.

    I respect your experiences, but they are not by themselves enough to build a case that both systems are identical.

    Beyond the discussion of the merits of having two districts (more if you count Francophone schools, which are also constitutionally protected), from a legal standpoint, the option you prefer, merger, is not available.

    I would welcome more voluntary cooperation between the Public and Catholic systems, including joint work on sector planning. Almost immediately after the closure of Woodcroft School, the Catholic district decided to review St. Mark, the community's remaining school. Perhaps collaboration would have created better opportunities for families in that part of the city.
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  25. #25

    Post Denominational Rights in relation to Education are protected

    [QUOTE=Green Grovenor;292531]^ ......I respect your experiences, but they are not by themselves enough to build a case that both systems are identical.

    Beyond the discussion of the merits of having two districts (more if you count Francophone schools, which are also constitutionally protected), from a legal standpoint, the option you prefer, merger, is not available.
    ....

    Green Grovenor is absolutely correct. This may have been mentioned before

    "... in 5 provinces there is a system of education in place in which specific denominational rights in relation to education are protected. In 4 of these, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Québec, the rights are safeguarded only for Protestants and Roman Catholics. In the fifth province, Newfoundland, the entire educational system is interdenominationally based, where 8 different religious denominations enjoy constitutional privileges in relation to schooling."

    Historically speaking this all started in Upper Canada circa 1816 http://thecanadianencyclopedia.com/i...=A1ARTA0007205
    Jump to 2010 ... do we have choice ? Yes and lots of it !
    Francophone, Private, Charter Authorites, Separate, Public, and Home Education

    Rod in Edmonton

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    ^ A priority for the Catholic School Board right now is collaboration. It has sought out creative partnerships with various government and not-for-profit organizations, for example around the construction of the new school in Clareview. The Catholic system is also further ahead in adopting the whole child approach advocated in Inspiring Education.

    By contrast, the EPSB emphasizes competition. Schools are expected to fight for students and resources. Trustees see themselves as part of a corporate board of directors charged with acting in the best interests of the institution. Not-for-profit groups and early education providers occupying school space are treated as burdens, not partners.

    Within these different systemic approaches are schools: most of which are good at some things and not so good at others. Although it is generally true that the public district has been slow to move toward whole child education, the school my children attend is a leader in this movement, because parents, staff and community members made it a special area of focus.

    I respect your experiences, but they are not by themselves enough to build a case that both systems are identical.

    Beyond the discussion of the merits of having two districts (more if you count Francophone schools, which are also constitutionally protected), from a legal standpoint, the option you prefer, merger, is not available.

    I would welcome more voluntary cooperation between the Public and Catholic systems, including joint work on sector planning. Almost immediately after the closure of Woodcroft School, the Catholic district decided to review St. Mark, the community's remaining school. Perhaps collaboration would have created better opportunities for families in that part of the city.
    Too many school systems makes administrative tasks and organization difficult. If you wish to streamline something, you cut the fat and leave the bones.

    All you've shown me is that you consider the catholic system to be better while you're talking about cooperation without considering the cooperative aspects from merging the 2 boards. Even get rid of francophone schools and put a better emphasis on teaching it in public schools so that all kids get fair treatment to learn.

    Exclusionary systems that can throw kids out based on physical or health attributes have no business in our system either, especially with public funding.

  27. #27

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    [QUOTE=rod in edmonton;292546]
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    ^ ......I respect your experiences, but they are not by themselves enough to build a case that both systems are identical.

    Beyond the discussion of the merits of having two districts (more if you count Francophone schools, which are also constitutionally protected), from a legal standpoint, the option you prefer, merger, is not available.
    ....

    Green Grovenor is absolutely correct. This may have been mentioned before

    "... in 5 provinces there is a system of education in place in which specific denominational rights in relation to education are protected. In 4 of these, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Québec, the rights are safeguarded only for Protestants and Roman Catholics. In the fifth province, Newfoundland, the entire educational system is interdenominationally based, where 8 different religious denominations enjoy constitutional privileges in relation to schooling."

    Historically speaking this all started in Upper Canada circa 1816 http://thecanadianencyclopedia.com/i...=A1ARTA0007205
    Jump to 2010 ... do we have choice ? Yes and lots of it !
    Francophone, Private, Charter Authorites, Separate, Public, and Home Education

    Rod in Edmonton
    Rod, using 100 year old laws that one could consider discriminatory given our current population of various ethnic and multicultural demographics doesn't help your argument.

    I don't want tax money going to support other people's indoctrined beliefs.
    I suppose if I wanted a St. Lucifer elementary I'd have your vote. Maybe the Spaghetti Monster middle school? Elvis High?

    Time to get with the times and teach that stuff responsibly. No kid needs that brainwashing while they're trying to learn.

  28. #28

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    [QUOTE=rod in edmonton;292546]
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grosvenor View Post
    ^ ......I respect your experiences, but they are not by themselves enough to build a case that both systems are identical.

    Beyond the discussion of the merits of having two districts (more if you count Francophone schools, which are also constitutionally protected), from a legal standpoint, the option you prefer, merger, is not available.
    ....

    Green Grosvenor is absolutely correct. This may have been mentioned before

    "... in 5 provinces there is a system of education in place in which specific denominational rights in relation to education are protected. In 4 of these, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Québec, the rights are safeguarded only for Protestants and Roman Catholics. In the fifth province, Newfoundland, the entire educational system is interdenominational based, where 8 different religious denominations enjoy constitutional privileges in relation to schooling."

    Historically speaking this all started in Upper Canada circa 1816 http://thecanadianencyclopedia.com/i...=A1ARTA0007205
    Jump to 2010 ... do we have choice ? Yes and lots of it !
    Francophone, Private, Charter Authorities, Separate, Public, and Home Education

    Rod in Edmonton
    Very surprised that Newfoundland has interdenominal based schools.
    I don't know too many people from Newfoundland but the ones I do know are all Catholics. If the majority of Newfoundlanders are Catholic I salute them for their forward thinking policies on the school system.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armin View Post
    Too many school systems makes administrative tasks and organization difficult. If you wish to streamline something, you cut the fat and leave the bones.

    All you've shown me is that you consider the catholic system to be better while you're talking about cooperation without considering the cooperative aspects from merging the 2 boards. Even get rid of francophone schools and put a better emphasis on teaching it in public schools so that all kids get fair treatment to learn.

    Exclusionary systems that can throw kids out based on physical or health attributes have no business in our system either, especially with public funding.
    I don't think we're communicating well, armin, but I'll give it one more try.

    I agree with your premise that having two large school districts within Edmonton creates duplication. Merger would likely reduce administrative costs.

    But the Constitution does not allow the restructuring you seek. It isn't a question of making legislative changes. Catholic education through a separate board is an enshrined right for Albertans of that faith.

    You may wish that the Constitution was constructed in a different way. You can start a campaign to get the federal and provincial governments across Canada to pursue an ammedment which would eliminate the protection for Catholic school boards. However, as a response to EPSB sector reviews, merger is not a lawful option.

    Do you have any suggestions on addressing the issue of school closures that are not unconstitutional?
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  30. #30

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    I've been reading the posts with interest, and appreciate the views being shared - about efficiencies of resources and administration and collaboration between organizations. I'm wondering what other ideas there are to address the core issues: not enough students and a goal of vibrant schools and quality programs. Not many people are in favour of closing a neighbourhood school, but what ideas do you have to address the issues? We've heard from a few people that partnerships will make up the difference, but the data shows that the 190 leases and partnerships across the entire district generate $1.7M in revenue, which is used to cover some of the costs of cleaning, heating and maintaining the leased space. This isn’t an easy issue to address, and the reason we’re asking is to gather input that will be used to develop recommendations. How can we make best use of available resources to create vibrant schools, quality programs and consider community needs? How else might we move forward?

  31. #31

    Default

    One thing the school boards need to do is set up meetings with city councillors in regards to school closures in inner-city neighborhoods. I does not matter how hard and how much the city pays to revitalize inner-city hoods the school board has
    persistently dogged their attempts by closing schools. Now you have the gall to ask how can we have vibrant schools and quality programs. What to do when you close and inner-city school. You don't. Maybe if you left them open and acted like they were going to be around for a long while in the future you might not have a neighborhood of jittery parents wondering when the axe is going to fall.
    For so called 'educated' people can you not see that neighborhoods need schools to keep them viable and attractive for all age groups to live in.
    If you do close a school don't hold onto the land forever so it stops new development from taking place on the property. Try to be concerned about the whole community not just the schooling part of it.
    Pay what it takes to renovate old schools
    Let the kids from the burbs be bused for a change.
    Don't make a big hulubulu about where new schools are being built try broadcasting were old ones are going to stay open.
    Don't just ACT like you care about what happens to communities when a school closes. Actually do something about it.
    Last edited by Gemini; 15-06-2010 at 02:12 PM.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  32. #32
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    Default School building utilization

    It sounds like there is a need for a multi-agency / jurisdiction conversation about the resource that partially full school buildings represent. Is it fair for the school systems to bear the whole cost of the schools serving larger community purposes? If not, how might that cost be better allocated? How should issues of suitability and sustainability addressed?

    These could be yeasty conversations. If well-planned to involve essential stakeholders and well-facilitated, the issue could likely be dealt with, neighborhood by neighborhood, in a much shorter time and with far more satisfying results that the present system.

    We tend to think in the silos (organizational units) that our government and educational institutions are presently organized into. But what about building effective communications and functioning cross-silo? There is a huge need for this at all levels of government - not just those involved in education and community services.

  33. #33

    Default

    ^How about building effective communications................
    When I think of a silo I think of flour
    When I think of yeast(s) I think of bread.
    Are you talking about baking Bonnie or are you talking about trying to improve the school system. If it's the latter please don't talk like your a baker.
    If you represent the school system try to speak in PLAIN ENGLISH.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  34. #34
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    Default School building utilization

    I don't represent the school system.

    And I'm sorry you find the metaphors unfriendly. They were not meant to be - but rather more descriptive. "Yeasty" describes a conversation that is bubbling and creating more than was there before - new ideas and /or new approaches. A very satisfying conversation.

    "Silo" is a great image for the separation of organizations and organizational units that mere boxes and lines cannot match. Wikipedia puts it this way: "An information silo is a management system incapable of reciprocal operation with other, related management systems." Neat, eh?

  35. #35
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    One thing the school boards need to do is set up meetings with city councillors in regards to school closures in inner-city neighborhoods. I does not matter how hard and how much the city pays to revitalize inner-city hoods the school board has
    persistently dogged their attempts by closing schools. Now you have the gall to ask how can we have vibrant schools and quality programs. What to do when you close and inner-city school. You don't. Maybe if you left them open and acted like they were going to be around for a long while in the future you might not have a neighborhood of jittery parents wondering when the axe is going to fall.
    For so called 'educated' people can you not see that neighborhoods need schools to keep them viable and attractive for all age groups to live in.
    If you do close a school don't hold onto the land forever so it stops new development from taking place on the property. Try to be concerned about the whole community not just the schooling part of it.
    Pay what it takes to renovate old schools
    This is exactly what needs to happen. The city has many ways in which it can create or stimulate demand for schooling in mature neighbourhoods. The school board are wanting to decrease the available supply. Closing inner city schools only puts more nails in the coffin of a dream of a proper city and not one that has an ever expanding waistline, while the core rots like some cancer.

  36. #36
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StephatDPInc View Post
    I've been reading the posts with interest, and appreciate the views being shared - about efficiencies of resources and administration and collaboration between organizations. I'm wondering what other ideas there are to address the core issues: not enough students and a goal of vibrant schools and quality programs. Not many people are in favour of closing a neighbourhood school, but what ideas do you have to address the issues? We've heard from a few people that partnerships will make up the difference, but the data shows that the 190 leases and partnerships across the entire district generate $1.7M in revenue, which is used to cover some of the costs of cleaning, heating and maintaining the leased space. This isn’t an easy issue to address, and the reason we’re asking is to gather input that will be used to develop recommendations. How can we make best use of available resources to create vibrant schools, quality programs and consider community needs? How else might we move forward?
    When will the EPSB stop dismissing the value of partnerships? Not just the $1.7 million that they generate in revenue, but also their worth to children and families?

    The following schools currently under review have one or more classrooms devoted to not-for-profit early education and literacy programming.

    Allendale
    Avonmore
    Calder
    Donnan
    Forest Heights
    Grovenor
    Kensington
    King Edward
    Malmo
    McKee
    Meadowlark
    Parkallen
    Rutherford
    Sherwood

    The EPSB has classified these classrooms are VACANT in the ACOL measurement and does not include children enrolled in early education as attending the school.

    Here's the list of schools under review with one or more classrooms devoted to out-of-school and other child care:

    Afton
    Avonmore
    Belvedere
    Coronation
    Delwood
    Dovercourt
    Forest Heights
    Garneau
    Glenora
    Grovenor
    Inglewood
    James Gibbons
    Landsdowne
    Laurier Heights
    Lendrum
    Lynnwood
    Malmo
    McArthur
    McKee
    McKernan
    Meadowlark
    Mee-yah-noh
    Mount Pleasant
    Oliver
    Parkallen
    Rio Terrace
    Rutherford
    Sherwood
    Westglen
    Westlawn
    Windsor Park

    Again, for sector review purposes, these classrooms are VACANT.

    I have not included early education and child care leases in programming-based schools in the sectors under review. For example, Stratford, Victoria and Mill Creek also host partner agencies which offer early education or child care. Nor have I included leases by groups such as the Hope Mission, which provides opportunities for at-risk youth in Belvedere to participate in athletics.

    You ask: How might we move forward?

    Answer: Honestly tell us how much vacant space is in schools under review.
    http://www.twitter.com/ckls

  37. #37
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    Default

    Did anyone catch the latest about Donnan and Riverdale schools?

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...769/story.html

    I think that parents and the communities would appreciate some transparency to the process, rather than last minute decisions behind closed doors. When going through the Fulton/Capilano closures, we were told that the decisions had to be made early in the year so that the board had time to make arrangements for alternatives. So why the secrecy and last minute announcement here? Once again, input from the parents and community has been ignored, this time leaving parents scrambling for alternatives just days before the school year ends.

    I think everyone recognizes that lower enrollments are an issue, but until community schools are allowed to advertise in the same manner as special programming schools (Immersion, IB, etc), they are at a disadvantage to attract new students. The board created this issue and they have the power to fix it too. Allow ALL schools to advertise in and outside of their community to give parents and students a true choice.

    I hope that the upcoming civic elections facilitate a change to this current school board - we need to elect trustees that are willing to make positive changes, that will listen to the public that elected them, that will come up with creative solutions for communities and bring their mandate in line with the plans the City of Edmonton has for older communities.

  38. #38

    Default

    ^Yes, they school boards and the city admin. need to form some sort of dialog in regards to schools. I think it's the school boards fault more so than the City of Edmonton's. I am sure Mayor Mandel would be more than happy to get this going.
    It's not just the about amount the city puts into the revitalization of the inner city.
    The school boards seem to think the bigger and shinier their new schools are the better the kids will be educated.
    And get with the times. If school acts have been around since people were writing on stone tablets maybe it's time to revise them.
    Start getting the Feds/Provincial Govts. to change this segregated system in the schools. Catholics here everyone else there.
    Have one mandate for teaching the kids all religions. It is the 21st. Century.
    Last edited by Gemini; 16-06-2010 at 03:58 PM.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  39. #39

    Default

    Whatever happened to imposing school boundaries in neighbourhoods. As it stands now, a parent can send their child to whatever school they want to. The result is that all the local kids are attending schools other than the one that is in their own neighbourhood. All the blame seems to be aimed at the school boards for closing schools. What about blaming the parents that are sending their kids to a school other than the one in their own neighbourhood. And it is certainly not the school board's fault that there are fewer kids being born these days than when the schools were first built.
    And why are we spending school tax dollars on school advertising? There would be no need for these ugly signs to be placed around our city if boundaries were put in place. And I would think that if a parent wants to find out about a school/programs then they should pick up the phone and call that school (they are all listed in the phone book) and make an appointment with the principal.
    Your local school could have the same "great" programs as those across the city if
    the local kids stayed put and filled up their own schools.

  40. #40
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DEESGOODWORD View Post
    Whatever happened to imposing school boundaries in neighbourhoods. As it stands now, a parent can send their child to whatever school they want to. The result is that all the local kids are attending schools other than the one that is in their own neighbourhood.
    i think it's changed somewhat. at least for high schools. all the students in a school's catchment area that want to go to that school are automatically allowed. any student from out of boundary that wants to go to that school goes in to a lottery based on the number of spaces left. otherwise they get sent to the school in their area.

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