On the eve of a combined U Hill Secondary/Elementary PAC meeting many parents living west of Blanca in Vancouver are wondering -will our schools be rebuilt to meet the learning needs of our children?
The EFR process has been public since early January 2008. As parents we have been waiting for over four years to get an answer we can “take to the bank.” The process has been filled with delays. From administrative to political interruptions, the real need for schools in this area has been sidelined time and time again.
June 4th at 7 pm the senior management of the Vancouver Board of Education will present their ‘final’ draft to the school trustees. People are hopeful that there is a plan in the works that will lay out a course to rebuild the schools out on the edge of Point Grey. But no one is holding their breath.
The is a worrisome feeling that the status quo will win out and nothing will happen. The same expressions of sympathy will be shared, but real action will not follow. The status quo is, however costly and it has to change.The status quo situation is being paid for through all of our collective labour and volunteer time as parents who work as staff or faculty and live on campus. We have allowed our children to pay the costs of keeping enclave facilities alive. Over 200 of our children are put on buses each morning to go out to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Elementary Schools, and others go farther afield to Southlands, Carnarvon and Henry Hudson so that annex facilities can survive. Our older children go to a high school that is decrepit and overcrowded. They eat their lunches on the floor, they do their labs in shifts, frequently miss gym, and they take classes in spaces that should be torn down and even so, they do amazingly well in their academic studies. These academic results have allowed politicians and administrators to avoid the real problems.
We all hope that on June 4th and on June 19th, when the trustees vote, our children will finally hear that their needs are being addressed.