(Editor’s note, this letter was sent to Near North District School Board trustees and a copy provided to the Beacon Star for publication).
Dear Trustees of the Near North District School Board,
I attended the meeting at the high school on Monday night and wanted to follow up with this letter that suggests a positive way forward.
First, many parents in West Parry Sound want to work with you to develop the best education system possible for our students while recognizing the real constraints of the school board funding system.
However the process to date has not effectively engaged parents. Instead, parents are angry, scared, misinformed, and cynical because of the poor process to date.
All of this is hindering our ability to effectively implement any change. We need to find a way to rectify this situation.
We want to move beyond the conflict of the last few weeks and enter into a constructive process to move ahead.??Many feel that a larger scale ARC process that reviews options for students across West Parry Sound to help develop a long term plan is the best step forward.
We fully recognize that such a plan will be a large task and that no plan will please everyone; however, such a process would certainly gain support of the majority of the community whose chief complaint to date has been about process.??
We understand that this may result in school closures and further that it may result in the delay of the building of the new school.
I think that you would find this acceptable to many in the community.
Further, I think by engaging in this type of process that the Board may in fact develop further cost savings while doing so in a manner that is transparent to the community.?
I have met with a number of parents, Parent Advisory Council members, municipal councillors and individuals that I think of as community leaders. We are respectfully asking the trustees who voted in favour of the recent decision, to please consider re-opening this discussion at the Board until clear, concise, timely and responsive communication amongst all stakeholders has been completed.
That way you will find a community solution and all stakeholders will have been empowered to engage in decision making in the spirit of collaboration and collegiality – values stated in the NNDSB’s Vision Statement.? ?
Thank you for your consideration.??