As I’ve said before, I moved a lot when I was a kid. Not all of my changes meant a new school, but I did change schools approximately 5 times in elementary school alone. Every change was hard, the first, the second, the last. I always had to make new friends, learn where the bathrooms and the music room were, decide which teacher was nice.
When our oldest child was getting close to school age, my husband and I relocated to a smaller suburban city where we knew we would live for a long time, because I’m strongly opposed to making my children change schools. Sometimes the change is necessary, for a new job or a house more suited to a family. If a family looks at all the factors and decides that it is best for them, I wouldn’t criticize them for making a change. learn more about learning old stuff at http://www.laurierunslife.com/the-way-old-stuff/
Some changes aren’t a choice though and that makes me angry. And sad. Last year our school district changed a policy basically forbidding all cross-boundary attendance. A number of children had been attending cross-boundary and were allowed to stay at their current schools’ thanks to a grandfathering clause. The clause didn’t include younger siblings entering the system or kindergarten students moving on to grade one though. This meant a lot of families felt compelled to move all their kids to their designated school, to keep siblings together.
I thought it was a ridiculous charge, especially given that the attendance numbers at each school affected barely changed. This year though we are seeing that it may have been the first step toward a new change. Redefined boundaries are being proposed and if they go through 60-90 families will be affected. One possibility would see 9 children change schools for the second time in two years. The other option will leave 3 children changing schools for a second time.** And this time – no grandfathering is being considered at all. How is this acceptable? Consider the school board’s own policy:
“The Board is charged with the responsibility of providing, for its students and their parents, and education system organized and operated in their best interests (emphasis added). It exercises this responsibility through the setting of local educational policy and the wise use of resources.”
How is changing schools in any child’s best interests?!
I’m trying to do my part to support the involved families. My kids have not affected actually, but I fear future changes that could impact them. And I feel morally obligated to try and help, because someone’s kids are affected, doesn’t matter if they are mine or not really. I’ve written to the board and I wrote a Letter to the Editor of our local paper. I’m attaching the text of that letter here because if it is not published I still hope to be able to reach some people and help them understand how wrong these choices are. So if you live in the Parkland School District – attend the special meeting on March 1st!!!!
I am writing in light of proposed boundary changes in the Parkland School District. I attended the recent School Board Trustee meeting to learn more about the boundary changes. First, I think the information at that meeting should have been made clear to the public in as visible a way as possible several weeks ago (or at least several weeks from any decision point).
This is a huge change for a significant number of parents in the Spruce Grove area. With either the possible Urban West boundary change or the Rural East boundary change, some children will be attending their THIRD school in three years.
In my opinion, no children who currently attend a school should be forced to change schools, all changes should only apply to future applicants and grandfathering of current students should be standard. The trauma of being uprooted from your familiar surroundings, your friends and activities should not be underestimated. I moved multiple times as a young child and the emotional impact of those moves is with me today. In my case my parents made poor choices, but in Parkland, parents are doing everything they can to provide a consistent and appropriate school for their families and are being denied that opportunity by a board of trustees lacking in vision. Only a few years ago an elementary school was CLOSED in Spruce Grove and a complete restructuring of schools was done. Now the Board says we need a new elementary school and schools that previously housed K-6 aren’t big enough for K-4. Now they think we have too many kids for our elementary schools. They have mentioned Brookwood’s growing population too and I don’t doubt that it will be the next target for change.
Children are not just numbers and they deserve to be treated with more courtesy and respect that our trustees have shown them over the last couple of years. I hope parents from all of Parkland’s schools will attend the March 1st special board meeting to support Millgrove parents and to show that we want our children to be treated better.
**Numbers of children affected are what were given at the February 16 School Trustee Board meeting. If there are any inaccuracies I apologize.