Dear PW Parents,
Three schools in our neighbourhood, including Prince of Wales Secondary, are in a list of schools to be analyzed for “school consolidation feasibility”. What does this mean exactly? It means the Ministry of Education needs to know how much Prince of Wales means to the school community, to the neighbourhood and to Vancouver, as they might need to consolidate (put 2 schools together) to help them save money and to reduce capacity.
Some parents have asked us to help them with the wording of such a letter, so we are providing you with a sample wording you can use. Feedback will be gathered through stakeholder representatives and via email. ( LFRP@vsb.bc.ca) The more letters we send them, the more they will realize how much we care!
CC: Local Trustee: Estrellita Gonzalez
I am the parent of at least one child at Prince of Wales Secondary. I understand there is interest in amalgamating a combination of 3 secondary schools in our neighbourhood – Prince of Wales, Point Grey and Magee.
We have serious concerns that this is a very short-sighted decision and would negatively impact the quality of education at each of the schools, especially Prince of Wales Secondary. Here are some things we are hoping the school board will consider:
1. Prince of Wales is an integral part of our community. From our choirs, which visit local elementary schools and retirement homes, to our famous Trek Christmas tree lot, which draws hundreds of visitors each year, our student body is deeply tied to our neighbourhood.
2. About 25 percent of our students are English language learners and our school community includes families from China, Germany, Isreal, and Korea, and around the world, as well as about 165 international students. These students would be easily overwhelmed in a larger school; at Prince of Wales they find a safe space to learn, adapt, and grow.
3. The Prince of Wales community includes the GOLD program for gifted students with learning disabilities, the TREK outdoor education program, and the PW Mini enriched academic program. Students in all of these streams participate in and contribute to the rich daily life of our school and our community. There is also a Theatre program and a sports program, as well as many student-run clubs.
As we understand it, a VSB goal is to “serve the needs and tap the potential of each of our students so that they may achieve their unique potential”. We have a group of very committed parents, who help plan events, such as the Multicultural School Fair and fundraisers to help teachers with their wish lists. Closing a School like PW Secondary would hurt the students, the parents and the community at large.
Long Range Facilities Plan Basis
“All district facilities are regularly reviewed and assessed to ensure they are being utilized for efficient and effective delivery of a comprehensive educational program and associated services. Any school may be considered for clo- sure when such an assessment: (a) identifies that the students could be reasonably be accommodated in other local schols, and (b) Those students can be provided with access to appropriate educational programs.
Steps towards Closure
Step 1 – The District Management Team will prepare a preliminary list of schools that might be considered for closure, and post that list on the VSB website to give affected parties advance notice of the consultation process that will apply if the Board decides to consider those or any other schools for closure
Step 2 – An administrative report from the District Management Team detailing what schools are being considered for closure will be presented to a joint meeting of Board Standing Committee II – Planning & Facilities and Standing Committee III – Education & Student Services
Step 3 – If consideration for closure is supported by the joing committee, then such recommendation will be forwarded to the next available Board meeting for decision
Step 4 – Any school being considered for closure will be identified and notified
Step 5 – Communication & consultation will include both the school community (staff, students and parents), as well as the general public
Step 6 – Appropriate mechanisms will be provided within the consultation process to allow feedback from both the school community and the public prior to the decision on closure being made
Step 7 – Any decision to close a school will be promptly communicated to both the school and the general public.