SAVE OUR SCHOOLS Admiral Seymour
Why is the Vancouver School Board trying to close our schools?
How will families be impacted by the closures?
For many years, the BC Liberal government has drastically underfunded our public education system. In the spring of 2016, the Vancouver School Board (VSB), alongside other school boards across the province, announced signiﬁcant deﬁcits due to a lack of suﬃcient funding from the province.
The school closures will undoubtedly have many negative impacts on families, and will further deteriorate the quality of education oﬀered by our public schools.
Many of our schools require seismic upgrades, but the province has told the VSB that unless it closes schools, it won’t receive funding allocated to these needed renovations.
• Increased commuting time for students • Increased class sizes • The elimination of valuable community and educational programming, such as special arts and music programs, after-school programs, and gifted programs • Reduced supports for students with special needs • Job loss for teachers, school administrators, oﬃce staﬀ, supervision aides, and custodial and cafeteria staﬀ • Anxiety and emotional upset for students and staﬀ impacted by the dismantling of their school communities
These funding pressures have forced the Vancouver School Board to consider school closures, and our valuable neighbourhood schools are under attack.
What schools are being considered for closure? As a result of pressure from the province, the VSB is taking the call for school closures seriously, and East Vancouver schools have become the biggest targets for the VSB. The VSB has developed a Long Range Facilities Plan, approved by the board in May 2016. And in June, the board released a preliminary list of Vancouver schools under consideration for closure. At this point, no ﬁnal decisions have been made, but the majority of schools on the list are located in East Vancouver. Families in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant (VMP) may be impacted most by the government’s chronic underfunding of our education system. In VMP, Britannia Secondary, Admiral Seymour, and Queen Alexandra are under consideration for closure. The only 2 secondary schools on the VSB’s possible closure list – Britannia and Gladstone – are located in East Vancouver.
Some impacts could include:
School closures, layoffs, cuts to special needs support, and increased class sizes don’t match the priorities of British Columbians. These cuts to education will dispoportionately affect children living in poverty, who face socio-economic barriers that make it difficult to learn and thrive.
What’s next for the VSB? Now is a very important time for people to speak out against the school closures. In September, VSB trustees will decide whether or not schools from the preliminary list should in fact be considered for closure. In October and November, the VSB will engage in further public consultations. The VSB plans to make ﬁnal decisions on which schools will close in December, 2016. The VSB has stated that school closures could take eﬀect as early as June 30, 2017.
The time to act is now. Here’s what you can do:
About the proposed school closures and how to stop them
Did you know that in 2010, East Vancouver community members successfully rallied together to stop the closing of 3 local schools? We can do it again. 1. Download the Save Our Schools petition at MelanieMarkMLA.ca and collect signatures in your community. 2. Write to Minister of Education Mike Bernier, the premier, the chair of the Vancouver School Board, and the media. • [email protected]
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3. Host an event in your community and invite your MLA. 4. Join the campaign! Contact Melanie’s oﬃce to volunteer. 1070-1641 Commercial Drive P: 604-660-0707 [email protected]