May 17, 2011 by realrenewal
May 17, 2011 – For the first time in recent memory, members of the general public lobbed several questions at their school trustees during the Regina Public’s Annual Meeting of Electors last Tuesday, May 10. The Q&A session was brief and cut off rather abruptly, but there was enough time for a few electors to ask about school closures and the erosion of community coordinator staff positions.
Of note, trustees responded that they would consider an alternative proposal to the closure of Athabasca School as part of the biennial review of the 10 Year Plan. This means members of the Athabasca School community have until August to pull together a workable plan to keep the school open, a task they have already begun with the help of a researcher from the Faculty of Education. An Athabasca parent asked for a moratorium on disposal of the building, and was told this would be considered if brought to a regular meeting of the trustees. Meanwhile, the Athabasca group plans to gather as many petition signatures as possible in time for a trustee meeting in June. If you can help with petitioning in any way, please contact Bob Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the community coordinator front, the board chair attributed the ongoing loss of coordinators to individual circumstances at schools, rather than a division-wide policy direction to reduce and/or eliminate these staff positions. Dr. Young also stressed that staffing decisions are not a matter for consultation with School Community Councils. If you want to be part of further discussions about the future of the community school framework – originally intended to empower community members – please contact RealRenewal at email@example.com right away. One of our volunteer members is working to pull ideas together and get the ball rolling on addressing this important issue.
Support Services (Special Needs)
There were a few people in the audience concerned about the reductions to special needs programs and education assistants, but unfortunately the meeting was called to a close before they could ask any questions. At the RealRenewal AGM, held on Sunday, May 8, one of the issues that came up was the loss of designated hours for tutorials in some of the high schools, and the lack of consultation with students and parents about such changes.
Reclaiming OUR meeting
Overall, the meeting was a good reminder to the board that this is not the Board’s AGM – it is the Electorate’s AGM. Hopefully there will be even more people there next year to reclaim our annual meeting as public space.