Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Queen Elizabeth Annex to Stay Open

See this media link.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Community Meeting Notes for June 25, 2008

Minutes of Wednesday's meeting have been posted on the Garibaldi Community Website. Click here to view.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

B.C. reverses view on school closures

"The B.C. Education Ministry has abruptly changed its message on school closures and is now urging school boards to think long and hard before shutting more schools."

From the Vancouver Sun today: click to read full article

Thanks to Randi Gurholt-Seary for the link.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 17 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the June 17 Garibaldi Annex Implementation Team (GAIT) meeting can be found on the Friends of Garibaldi website at http://garibaldiannex.com/node/23

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meeting Tonight!!!

Meeting to form Friend's of Garibaldi Action Committee

Date: Tuesday, June 17th 2008
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Garibaldi Annex 1025 Slocan St., Vancouver
For Info call: Kate 604-254-1060

1. Decide on Committee Structure
2. Select name
3. Decide on who will fill roles and and responsibilities
4. Update on GAIT meeting
5. New business

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School Protest

For more information see this post on the Garibaldi Website.

June 3 2008 Meeting Notice Available in Chinese

The meeting notice for the June 3 meeting on the future direction of Garibaldi is now available in Chinese on the new Garibaldi website at http://garibaldiannex.com/june032008meeting_ch.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Garibaldi Parade on YouTube

A musical parade, featuring the Carnival Band, preceded the VSB vote on May 5, 2008. This video shows part of the parade as it marches from 10th Avenue at Fir counter-clockwise around the block and into the south entrance and around the board room. (thanks to Seanna McPherson for the link)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Former VSB Trustee Sends Congratulations

The following article and letter came from former VSB Trustee, and liaison for Garibaldi Annex, Noel Herron.

From the upcoming COPE newsletter:


Against all odds Garibaldi, a small kindergarten to Grade 3 Eastside school, slated for closure in September, recently won a signal victory by convincing the NPA- dominated Vancouver school board to keep their school open.

Over a six month period this small school- community put together an innovative 60 page plus brief that COPE trustee Al Blakey described as “ a remarkable and visionary educational document “.

The VSB, while offering a modified proposal that differed from the original Garibaldi submission, recognized the value of the school’s detailed submission with several NPA trustees commending the community for its persistent efforts.

And what an effort.

This involved a remarkable community mobilization project encompassing sustained and varied series of community events, activities, and happenings including all of the following : countless small and large group meetings; door-to-door canvassing for potential new students ; community–wide surveys; a I,000 plus save-our -school petition; a community fair attended by 500; researching and writing an innovative and forward- looking brief with strong emphasis on early childhood education and child care; bussing parents and their children to two separate VSB public meetings;’ hiring’ an amazing local marching band to announce with a flourish their arrival at the final decision-making board meeting and even swamping VSB trustees with over a 100 small teddy bears at a previous board meeting.

All of this -and indeed much more background planning and activities -went into this truly remarkable and sustained community victory which COPE trustees, Allan Wong hailed as “astounding”.

Both COPE trustees flatly stated that while they preferred the original Garibaldi plan, they would vote for the NPA motion before the board, which they amended to include specific mention of an early childhood component.

Bravo Garibaldi parents, community organizations and community activists for a superb achievement!

Noel Herron
Former elementary school principal and former Liaison Trustee to Garibaldi school ; he is seeking, through the office of the Freedom of Information commissioner, a full copy of the original VSB district-wide facilities review document tabled, in camera ,at a board meeting on June 27,2007. The FOI office has promised a decision on or before September 5, 2008.
From a letter to the Garibaldi community:

Hi folks :
Congratulations on a great victory last night. All of your hard work ,energy,creativity and innovation paid off in spades,although the NPA board should have accepted plan B --your plan -in full as it is the most relevant and cutting edge in terms of the future for public education in primary classes in this city.
Garibaldi parents were collectively light years ahead of this board and it is truly ironic that they did not accept plan B while on the same evening they were voting to accept a VSB FRAMEWORK for early education.
Al Blakey and I ,as the oldest,--I would prefer most experienced--trustees on the former board agree that we have never seen such positive activism and dynamic enthusiasm--including that wonderful band--- from a small school-community.
All of you deserve official recognition from some other public body or external organization for the outstanding work in community development and parental involvement.
.There is an ongoing story here- a truly inspiring story--behind the meetings(small and large).the telephone calls,the emails.the website, the surveys,the lobbying, the research, busses and band, including the non-stop drive that culminated in last night's victory. As the former Liason Trustee for your school I was delighted to observe your splendid work from the side lines and watch you reach your well -deserved goal.
Noel Herron
Thanks, Noel, for the encouraging words throughout the process. It helped keep us on track.

Links to Media Reports on the VSB Vote

Click on the following links for media reports on the vote to keep Garibaldi Open

... from CUPE
... from The Vancouver Courier
... from The Vancouver Sun Education Blog
... from The Vancouver Sun

(Thanks for Hal Milne for the links)

The vote was also covered by CBC Radio One, CKNW, Chinese press and probably many other media.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Tonight the VSB Trustees vote unanimously to keep Garibaldi Annex open.

The District Management Team presented recommendations as outlined in their May 2, 2008 Memorandum to the Board of Trustees. The memorandum outlined three options for consideration,
  1. Close the annex
  2. Proposal submitted by Save Garibaldi
    Working group
  3. Modified Save Garibaldi Working Group proposal.
Option 3 was developed by the District Management team to address shortcomings they perceived in option 2, namely the likelihood of drawing new students into the district. Their recommendation to the board was that they accept option 3. One feature of this option different from the community proposal is that the distributed learning at Van Horne would be relocated to Garibaldi, replacing the home learning part of the proposal, and a consequence is that space would not be available at the outset for an early learning component as currently provided by the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House.

The motion was entered as
1) Approve Option C (the Modified Save Garibaldi Working Group Proposal) as an
acceptable alternative to closing Garibaldi Annex;
2) Approve the establishment of a joint community, school and district committee to
support and promote the educational programs at Garibaldi Annex and to
monitor growth in enrolment over the next three years.
3) If the projected growth of 36 new students to the district is not achieved by
September 30, 2010, Garibaldi Annex will be closed effective June 30, 2011.

Allen Blakey moved to amend the motion by altering point 2) to read:
Approve the establishment of a joint community, school and district committee to
support and promote the educational programs, particularly the need for and early learning component, at Garibaldi Annex and to
monitor growth in enrolment over the next three years.
Trustee Blakey's amendment was accepted.
There was some discussion on the DMT motion. Allen Blakey thought the Garibaldi Working Committee proposal was the better proposal, but was happy the that school would likely stay open. Most Trustees express admiration for the community proposal and the effort of the community to keep it open and some said that it moves education in the direction it should be going.

There was much festivity this evening. Two packed bus loads of parents and children arrived on the VSB grounds just before the meeting and joined in a parade with a 20-odd person carnival band led by saxophonist Ross Barrett. The musical parade, complete with tubas, trombones, trumpets, saxophone and drums marched around the block then entered the south entrance of the VSB and right into and around the board room. Trustee and Chairman Clarence Hansen noted opened the meeting by saying that he believed that the community was present, and Superintendent Chris Kelly noted in his opening comments that the community's entrance would be a hard act to follow. However, in approving the modified proposal they did just that. Much jubilation followed the vote, as the party spilled out onto the VSB grounds.

Now, on with our new vision for the school and community.

(photo by Hal Milne)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

May 5th Vote and Rally - Reminders

The following is from Garibaldi email distribution from Diane Wilmann of Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, reminding us to attend the VSB vote at the public meeting Monday, May 5, on whether to close Garibali Annex.

Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder about getting everyone out on Monday. The Carnival band will be there to cheer us on and buses are now finally confirmed for those needing transport to VSB. 2 Buses will be at Garibaldi at 6pm for loading and will leave promptly to go to VSB at 6:15. Two buses will return at 8:15 – if the meeting is not finished the drivers are willing to wait if we ask. There will be entertainment for children outside the building with the Carnival band and there will be less waiting around than last time. The kids will also get their bears back!

See you all Monday,


MEETING LOCATION议地点: Vancouver School Board温哥华教育局,
1580 West Broadway St., Vancouver(位于温哥1580 West Broadway 街)
MEETING TIME议时间: 7pm – 9pm (approx.) 晚上79

New Garibaldi Links

Tuyen supplied the following links:

District Management Team report wherein they recommend a modified Garibaldi proposal:

Vancouver Sun article on the Monday meeting: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=4cf6b64d-687f-4311-a9c0-70d28fbd4f25&k=74165

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The following was sent to us by Vancouver School Trustee Sharon Gregson.

My name is Karen Georgi and this (members.shaw.ca/stopbcschoolclosures/) is a link to my website and petition. Please have a look and help me to circulate this petition Province wide. There is also a Facebook group "stopbcschoolclosures" to help circulate the petition.
I am a parent with two children in public school and started to become interested in the issue of Functional Capacity during our school district's (SD42) school closure process back in September 2007. At this time there were information sessions which welcomed public feedback. Over and over again members of the public asked why classrooms that were utilized by daycares, sensory rooms and other community uses didn't "count" when calculating functional capacity. There are programs the government has implemented such as strong start and this too cannot be factored in. A school can have every classroom utilized and it's official functional capacity could be 75 or 80%. I feel that changing the determination for what constitutes the functional capacity of our schools will help to keep schools open. Please feel free to call me or email if you have any questions.
Karen Georgi
19559 115 Avenue
Pitt Meadows

Monday, April 21, 2008

VSB Meeting Report

Last night the VSB Trustees met to decide a the fate of Garibaldi. However, a motion by Ken Denike passed 5 to 2 to first study the financial aspects of the proposal. The issue will next be addressed at the Monday, May 5th meeting.
The meeting room was packed with Garibaldi students, parents and community members. Dozens of teddy bears were delivered to trustees to remind them that a community of children are depending upon a positive outcome to the vote.
About 20 children were in attendance but were so well behaved that it was up to Kate Mulligan, Seana McPherson and others to set an example by speaking out of turn and creating a community ruckus. Afterwards, the kids played tag and carried as per usual in the gardens behind the VSB. One child remarked what a great time he had had. He especially liked the part with the delivery of the teddy bears to the trustees.
More details tomorrow.

Tonight's VSB Meeting

The VSB Trustees will discuss the Garibaldi proposal at this evenings meeting. A vote on whether to keep Garibaldi open will not happen tonight but at some future date.

The Garibaldi Agenda materials can be viewed from this VSB link.

VESTA has provided a free bus for those in the Garibaldi community wishing to attend the meeting. The buses will be available for loading at 6:00 PM and will leave by 6:20 PM. (Children under 5 are not permitted on the buses due to safety rules). The bus will return aroun d 9:00 PM.

For those wishing to drive to the meeting, the address is:

Vancouver School Board
1580 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6J 5K8

Main Switchboard: (604) 713-5000

Wear you blue Garibaldi T-shirt and be counted! (or just wear blue!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Garibaldi T-shirts for Sale!

The Garibaldi PAC is offering T-shirts with the Garibaldi logo at the low, low cost of $10 (corrected from $8 and $6). They will be on a blue background. If you'd like to have one, please go to this link: http://garibaldiannex.com/?q=node/12 and enter your name and shirt size. They will be available for pick up at the SocHop from 7-8:00 PM Saturday April 19 at Garibaldi School, or from 6:00-6:20 PM on Monday, April 21, in front of Garibaldi, where the bus will be waiting to take us to the VSB meeting.

Think what a powerful message of solidarity we would show if we were all wearing these T-shirts at the meeting!

-Garibaldi PAC

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Free Bus Ride to VSB on Decision Night

On April 21st Vancouver School Board Trustees will be deciding whether or not Garibaldi Annex will remain open.

The GARIBALDI ACTION COMMITTEE has been working very hard and has provided a strong proposal for a viable future for Garibaldi Annex. The committee is asking for your support now by showing Trustees that our community is committed to a wonderful small school with a BIG heart.


FREE TRANSPORTATION TO VSB: Buses will be leaving GARIBALDI ANNEX located at 1025 Slocan St. at 6:20pm

MEETING LOCATION: Vancouver School Board,
1580 West Broadway St., Vancouver, BC

MEETING TIME: 7pm – 9pm (approx.)

We will be providing FREE stuffed bears to the first 165 individuals arriving for transport to the meeting.

For more information go to the Garibaldi Annex Blog: garibaldiannex.blogspot.com
or call Hal @ 604-879-0170 or Kate 604-254-1060

To help us determine how many buses we'll need, please fill out this form (click here!) to indicate that you intend to ride the free Garibaldi bus to the meeting.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Garibaldi Proposal

The Garibaldi Proposal as presented to the Review Committee is now available on-line here: Garibaldi Proposal.

Let’s Agree Not to Dispose of Schools

BURNABY – CUPE BC is encouraging members to participate in an action to highlight school closures and the sell-off of school lands.

On Monday April 7 at 11:30 a.m. Let’s Agree Not to Dispose of Schools (LANDS) is holding a province-wide rally at the Legislature in Victoria to highlight and stop the sell-off of public school lands.

LANDS is working to unite parents, students, citizens, school districts and municipalities to convince the B.C. government to fully fund capital spending and support sustainable public education for future generations. The Ministry of Education requires districts to bring money to the table for capital projects such as new schools, thereby forcing school districts to close schools and sell the land.

LANDS believes that school lands were given in public trust for all generations of children and they are not ours to sell. Part of securing the future is keeping these lands in public hands.

For more information go to bc.lands@gmail.com.

[CUPE Link: http://cupe.ca/media/School_closures_and_]

Friday, April 4, 2008

Decision Schedule

[UPDATE] The Garibaldi Working Committee will be meeting with the VSB on April 10 to present the Garibaldi proposal. A meeting of the Garibaldi Review Committee will follow. The Trustees will make a decision on Monday, April 21, 2008.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Invitation: Please Attend Think Schools Conference - April 6

How can we turn our public schools into vibrant community hubs?

Think City invites you to attend Think Schools – a one-day conference on how citizens across the city can develop a vision for renewing schools taking place on Sunday, April 6.

According to a Vancouver School Board (VSB) report published in September 2007,our city may only have nine of its 64 historic schools left still standing once the school board's facilities renewal process is complete. In place of these important public buildings, the city's schools may be systematically reduced in size, unique programming that defines schools will be excluded from these new buildings due to space limitations, and valuable community amenities such as daycare, seniors care, after-school care and auditoriums will be cut from these neighbourhood anchors.

Keynote speaker Seattle School Board Building Excellence Program Manager Don Gilmore will share solutions that helped preserve and renew his city's public school buildings.

Lunch and reception are included in the registration fee. Pre-registration is required.

When: Sunday, April 6, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews
Tickets: $25 regular, register here
Scholarships: Call 604.216.7246 for details.
Childcare: Call 604.216.7246 for details.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Garibaldi Community Fair March 16th

March 16th was a big success with over 500 estimated attendees! The community sent a message loud and clear that GARIBALDI ANNEX needs to stay! Here are a few snapshots of the day!

Randi of CUPE with the street theatre crew!

Gary and Diane of Frog Hollow receiving the Garibaldi PAC Community Award!

The Community came out in support of the cause!

We ran out of hotdogs and hamburgers, I lost count at 500!

Community businesses came out in support!

And community organizations!

And a great band thanks Bonkers!

Thanks to all who made this such a wonderful day! A special thanks to Meike, Ginette, Leanne, Sharon, Robin, Meaghan, Rebecca, Hal, Scott, Randi and CUPE, Gary and Diane and the rest of Frog Hollow, Yoko, Janice and Beth, Vig, Tony, Marco, the children of Garibaldi and surrounding schools, Allen Wong, Allen Blackey, Shane Simpson, the community, Cecil, Seanna, Community Policing, Pomegranate, The local firehouse, the sponsors and everyone else (I am sure I am missing many people who contibuted)!
Thanks to Tony Lee for the pictures!
If you would like to see the rest of the pictures, they will be posted at a later date or simply e-mail kamulligan@aol.com

Garibaldi Proposal Submitted

On March 20 the proposal to make Garibaldi viable was submitted to the VSB. We have applied to present the proposal in person to the board and are awaiting word on whether we will be permitted to do so. Rumours are that the board will make a decision around the 7th of April.
The Garibaldi fair was a great success and hopefully the community goodwill that oozed from that gathering will be carried by the trustees in attendance to infuse those trustees not able to attend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This Sunday March 16th is a very special time for the Garibaldi Community as we host our Community Fair!

Come out to see children's group BONKERS

Join us for a BBQ and Pot Luck

Reggio-Emelia Craft Area

Face Painters and Children's Games, Including all levels Soccer Game

Visits from Community Policing and the Fire Hall

Community Information Tables and

Local Businesses and Groups

Special Guest, Shane Simpson MLA

Special Surprise Guests and more TBA

Lots of fun for the whole family!
In the case of rain, the event will be held in the gymnasium.

Write your “SAVE GARIBALDI ANNEX” letter and let your voice be heard!

Take action by writing your own letter telling the VSB and Parliamentary Representatives why GARIBALDI ANNEX should stay OPEN.

Some points to help you:

· Think environmental impact: housing density of neighbourhood as a result of the Garibaldi Annex site being developed, further use of cars by parents commuting their children to schools should Garibaldi close;
· Think safety issues: Young children crossing major streets with a long history of fatalities which is monitored by children at present;
· Think loss of community: One less school will only further the school board’s plan to consolidate students into larger schools away from the Annex model. The larger schools will mean children will be traveling greater distances from their neighbourhood, not ensuring children know each other within their immediate community and may ultimately lead to larger classrooms and crowded schools;
· Think finances: We all know that successful children lead to successful adults taking the burden future financial support from society. Children who receive an opportunity for quality early childhood education have been proven to be more successful in the future. This means a financial savings ultimately for the school board;
· Think seismic upgrading: Garibaldi Annex is on the low priority list for the VSB, meaning the facility is much safer than many aging buildings within our neighbourhoods. Further to that, two of the major elementary schools in the neighbourhood are due for seismic upgrading in 2009, which will require over 50% of the school population to be vacated. Where are those children to go? Portables?
· Think opportunity: The proposed theme of “Arts, Culture and Sustainable Community” and the new innovative program components have been developed by the community to address concerns by the VSB will fulfill the financial requirements of the board and Ministry of Education.
· Think partnership: Garibaldi Annex holds strong partnerships with community institutions such as Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, Canucks Family Education Centre, Pacific Immigrant Resource Society, Vancouver Public Library, Evergreen Community Health Centre
· Think children: Think happy faces, knowing your schoolmates, knowing your community. Garibaldi offers a nurturing environment for young children from Kindergarten to grade four to ensure children are equipped with the right tools for a successful future. These tools include, empathy, teamwork, leadership, kindness, creativity, and a strong value placed on community;

Should you wish to mail trustees directly, please write c/o Vancouver School Board, 1580 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 5K8


Allen BlakeyPhone: 604-433-6844

Ken DenikePhone: 604-889-0564

Carol Gibson (Vice-chair)Phone 604-734-6610

Eleanor GregoryPhone: 604-737-1980

Sharon GregsonPhone: 604-505-5725 (cell)sharon.gregson@vsb.bc.ca

Clarence Hansen (Chairperson)Phone: 778-239-9602clarence.hansen@vsb.bc.ca

Don Lee Phone: 604-325-9474

Allan WongPhone: 604-437-6074

Shirley WongPhone: 604-897-8389 (cell)

BC Ministry of Education:
Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister and Deputy Premier
Parliament Buildings - Room 248
Mail: PO Box 9045, STN PROV GOVT,
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2

Shane Simpson
MLA Vancouver-Hastings2365 Hastings St E. Vancouver, BC V5L 1V6
Phone: 604-775-2277

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Survey

The new survey is on-line at cdanalysis.com/Garibaldi. If you have children and live in the area, please fill out the on-line form.
This survey will collect more detailed information than the first one and will try to capture data for all of the kids in the area around Garibaldi. The data will be used to help justify to the VSB why Garibaldi should stay open. In particular, we would like to show that if Garibaldi offers programs of interest to local parents, we could draw students back into the school and bring the attendance numbers back up to a point that would make it financially viable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Garibaldi Information Meeting - Tonight!

The entire Garibaldi Community is invited!

Subject: Community Information Session regarding the future of Garibaldi Annex

Date: February 26th, 2008
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Garibaldi Annex, 1025 Slocan St., Vancouver (upstairs in the Library)

Garibaldi Annex needs you! Thanks for all your important feedback at the last Community Meeting on February 12th. Our various committees are working hard to keep up with a tight time-line, and want to keep you up-to-date on our progress!

Come learn about:

  • the proposal the community is developing to keep the school open
  • the survey we are conducting to determine support for the school and the proposal
  • the fantastic community and media event we're planning for Sunday, March 16th
  • how to get involved in this community movement!
We are committed to an open process and welcome your input.

Tell your neighbours! Tell your friends!

We look forward to seeing you there,
The Garibaldi Action Committee

Seeking Local Artists

Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House is hosting a series of community-focused art workshops on Saturdays starting in March. These workshops are directed at parents and children (age 5 and up), are 2 hours in length, from 2:00-4:00 p.m., and will explore a range of arts media.

Frog Hollow is seeking local artists interested in leading the sessions. Each artist will do one series of 4 workshops over one month (4 Saturdays.) The focus is on creating a fun, engaging process for children and families to explore creativity. Both visual and performance artists are invited. The artists will be paid for their time.

If you are interested in participating, please respond by email by March 4, 2008, with your name and contact information, a brief description of your work, and the type of workshop you are interested in leading.

Jane Fitzgerald
Project Coordinator


Monday, February 25, 2008

Proposal for Garibaldi Annex School

Dear Community,

The working group has written an overview of the proposal they are developing to Save Garibaldi Annex!

Come out to our Community Information Session on Tuesday the 26th of February to get the full story: 7-9pm at Garibaldi School.


The VSB has stated that it will close Garibaldi School in June, 2008 because of low enrolment unless an acceptable proposal to keep the school open is delivered to them by March 20th, 2008. In order to address the concerns of the VSB regarding the low enrolment at Garibaldi Elementary School and the high cost-per-student of keeping the school operating, the Garibaldi Action Group – made up of the Garibaldi Parent Advisory Council, local residents, interested professionals, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, and other stakeholders – is developing a proposal for keeping the school open and financially viable.

Garibaldi School currently operates a regular elementary program for kindergarten through grade 4 and has a range of linguistic and culturally inclusive Family Support Programs operated by 5 community agencies. We propose that Garibaldi School operate a Distributed Learning Program in parallel with the regular school program, expanded Family Support Programs for families with preschool aged children, and a Reggio Emilia Inspired Group Daycare for 3-5 year old children. We further propose that these school components be drawn together by a common set of values based on the importance of “Arts and Culture” and a Mission Statement inspired by those values. Each program in the school will emphasize the importance of fine arts and cultural diversity, but this will not be a formally designated program in the way “Fine Arts” is a special District Program at Nootka School, for example. In this way, the diversity of our community will be reflected and respected in all of the activities at Garibaldi.


Research has shown that there are more than enough children in the immediate area to meet the 165 student capacity of the school but many are currently enrolled in private schools, are home-learners, or are enrolled in other schools because of concern about the school closing. In order to keep the school financially viable, it is important to enroll students for whom the VSB will receive full funding from the Ministry of Education.

Van Horne Model (VSB)
The Vancouver Learning Network is a district-wide program which operates an “Elementary Distance Education” program at Van Horne School, located at 5855 Ontario Street. This program provides support for approximately 89 children who either choose to be home-schooled or cannot attend regular classes because they are out of the province or involved in extra-curricular advanced athletic or other performance activities. More than half of the children at Van Horne do not live in Vancouver and there are no classes offered for them at the school. They are encouraged, however, to participate in sports days, school performances and the Grade 7 Graduation Ceremonies. Van Horne also operates a regular school program with approximately 400 students.

New Westminster Homelearners’ Program
The Homelearners’ Program in New Westminster is also a Distributed Learning Program that receives full funding from the Ministry of Education for each enrolled student. They offer classes and academic tutorials to support subjects such as English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Second Language, P.E. & Fine Arts. They also offer the following:
  • Development of an Individual Learning Plan to focus the child’s learning, guided by the Ministry of Education’s Prescribed Learning Outcomes
  • Portfolio development and three formal reports for each child per year
  • Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) testing in May - Grade 4 and 7 students are required to write the government mandated FSA’s

They provide students with a Resource Library that gives families access to homelearning-friendly resources such as: thematic kits, books, audiovisual materials, manipulatives, CDs, educational board games, work books, text books, and unit plans. A “portfolio” is created for each child that reflects the Individual Learning Plan. Portfolios are comprised of a collection of student work samples that highlight learning done at home, in the community and at their school. Portfolios are handed in at the end of each term (November, March, June), followed by three-way conferencing. The conference includes assessments and time to develop learning plans and future goals. Reporting by teachers consists of anecdotal comments for K-3, with the addition of letter grades for grades 4 – 8. (This information is available on their website: This program is focused on families who choose homelearning as a choice, rather than families who require online schooling because of travel or demanding special athletic or performance activities.

Garibaldi Distributed Learning Model
Our proposed model is based on the New Westminster Homelearners’ Program. Although the program would be open to any student in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, we would hope to attract a majority of students living in East Vancouver. We propose to design the program to meet the needs of families who prefer home-schooling with ongoing, consistent support from teachers and some classroom learning. We would propose two days per week of classroom time for each student with access to the regular school library and gym. Also, we would encourage participation in special events, sports, celebrations and other “extra-academic” activities with the students enrolled in the regular school program at Garibaldi.

We would have approximately 30 students as a goal for enrolment. Classroom space would be available in the current resource room and shared space with the Family Support Programs operated by Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House and Canuck Place. We expect that one FTE teacher would be required to meet the needs of these students.


In June 2006, the VSB signed Memorandum of Understanding entitled, “Advancing an Integrated, Neighbourhood Based System of Early Childhood Development, Learning and Care Services in Vancouver” and broadened its mandate to include support for Early Childhood Development. Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House currently provides quality Early Learning Programs for children aged 0-6 and their parents/caregivers focused on supporting preschool children and their families to prepare for school at Garibaldi. We also offer Early Literacy Programs and resources for children and families and ESL classes for newcomer parents with school-aged and preschool children in collaboration with Pacific Immigrant Resource Society. Canuck Foundation through Partners in Education also currently offers family literacy support for parents with young children, and Vancouver Public Library partners with Frog Hollow to offer literacy programs such as Mother Goose. Evergreen Community Health is also involved in programs at the school by providing health education, health assessment for preschool children and medical referrals as required.

We are proposing to offer a Reggio Emilia Inspired, Group Daycare for twenty-five 3-5 year olds. This full-day child care centre will operate out of the current Kindergarten room and will be a “state-of-the-art” program for children in the community and will meet a great need for such care.


The Garibaldi community is richly diverse and is characterized by families with different first languages, artistic and creative gifts, alternative lifestyles and many strengths. We propose that the different components of the school, which reflect the diversity of the community, be drawn together by the common thread of “Arts, Culture and Community”. We will develop a set of values and a Mission Statement for the school that recognizes the importance of using artistic expression as a universal language and means of communication. Similarly, the valuing of the richness of the cultural diversity of our community will be equally fundamental in the values and Mission of the Garibaldi. Garibaldi will be a centre of learning within the community, a recognized learning hub where community building activities are essential. This “Arts, Culture and Community” theme will be embraced by all programs, but will not be a special program in itself, as is the Fine Arts Program at Nootka School. Families will be attracted to this general emphasis on Art, Culture and Community without the need for a designated program that would be District-wide.

The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) will support this theme through funding programs such as “Learning Through the Arts” – a program that regularly works with schools to enhance art opportunities – and by creating a resource library with teaching aids for art and culture and other child-centred, project-based learning initiatives.


Our vision for Garibaldi is one of a vibrant, inspiring, diverse centre of community learning where families with different but complimentary interests and strengths come together with children from birth to school age to support one another, to create art and to celebrate their cultures. This exciting learning experience will attract many families who have been looking for a richer opportunity for their children and themselves and will make Garibaldi School a vital, sustainable and exciting centre of learning.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Garibaldi Community Information Session - Tue 26 Feb

The entire Garibaldi Community is invited!

Subject: Community Information Session regarding the future of Garibaldi Annex

Date: February 26th, 2008
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Garibaldi Annex, 1025 Slocan St., Vancouver (upstairs in the Library)

Garibaldi Annex needs you! Thanks for all your important feedback at the last Community Meeting on February 12th. Our various committees are working hard to keep up with a tight time-line, and want to keep you up-to-date on our progress!

Come learn about:
  • the proposal the community is developing to keep the school open
  • the survey we are conducting to determine support for the school and the proposal
  • the fantastic community and media event we're planning for Sunday, March 16th
  • how to get involved in this community movement!
We are committed to an open process and welcome your input.

Tell your neighbours! Tell your friends!

We look forward to seeing you there,
The Garibaldi Action Committee

Garibaldi Survey Committee - Meeting Minutes

Garibaldi Survey Meeting
Wednesday Feb 20th 4.30-6.30 pm
Laughing Bean / The Slocan

Present: Robin, Scott, Crystal, Sharon
Regrets: Kirsten

1) Assess the information we already have
2) Workshop the questionnaire itself
3) Develop a game-plan for conducting the survey


1) Information we have:
Crystal will have a list of all community members who have been contacted for the petition by the end of the week. This list will be divided into 3:
• those who have been contacted and have children (English and ESL)
• those who have been contacted and do not have children
• those who have still not been contacted

2) Survey:
The survey has 3 purposes: 1) to inform the community of our process, goals, and proposed program; 2) to determine the level of support for keeping garibaldi open and the proposed program; 3) to solicit further involvement from the community.

We workshopped the questionnaire and Robin will do it up, including a brief history of the process and a description of the proposed programming when it becomes available. Sharon will translate.

Robin will ask Gary re: the distinction between daycare for pre-school aged children and after-school care for those who are school-aged.

3) Game plan
We have agreed to focus our efforts within the perimeter of Hastings, Nanaimo, 1st, and Renfrew. This is our priority. If individual surveyors are willing to go beyond these limits we welcome their enthusiasm!

  • Begin with calling all those we have a phone number for.
  • Scott will set up an online survey so that when we contact people by phone, we can enter all their info and responses directly into the online database. This way answers can be in a drop-down menu, the data gets complied immediately, and everyone involved in surveying can see who has been contacted and what remains to be done.
  • Go door-to-door for the rest, assigning each person a street or set of streets. The surveyor will fill out the form while on the community member’s doorstep.

We would like the survey to be ready to go for Wednesday the 27th, the day after the Community Info meeting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February 12 Action Committee Outcomes

Last night the Action Committee (open to anyone) met at the school to discuss a few more options, present the decision process and choose committee members.

The committee members and agenda follow. This information, plus the time line, can be downloaded in spreadsheet form from here.

Garibaldi Action Committee Accountable Responsible Consulted Informed Decription of Role
Additional Support
Committee Coordination Hal Milne Committee Members Community, FH, Randi - CUPE, Committee VSB, Community To include facilitating meetings, working with committee members, liaising with VSB

Frog Hollow Representation Gary Dobbin FH Staff Randi - CUPE, FH, VSB, Community Community To ensure that Frog Hollow's plan integrates successfully with proposed enhancement, to provide guidance in our overall plan and so that FH is engaged and informed
Survey Preparation: Robin - PIE
Media Outreach Rick Committee, Randi - CUPE, VESTA, DPAC, Shane Simpson Randi - CUPE, FH, VSB, Community Community, VSB, Ministry of Ed To inform media and Community, VSB + Ministry through media about the success stories of Garibaldi, the emphasize the good work being done by the Community and to advocate for non-closure
cheryl taylor lee - flyers
Integrated Proposal Preparation Diane Wilman Committee, Randi - CUPE VSB, COPE Trustees, Noel Community, VSB, Media To draft the final proposal to be presented to the Trustee with the help of the Decision Review Committee, and outside consultants

Advocacy Kate Kate, FH, Randi - CUPE, ? Randi- CUPE, FH, Community, Committee, DPAC, VESTA VSB, Ministry, MLA, DPAC, VESTA To ensure all levels of government, the VSB Board of Trustees are aware and are felling pressure regarding community concerns surrounding the closure of Garibaldi
Advocacy: Vivian
Community Coordination Crystal Committee, Community, Randi - CUPE Community, FH, Randi -CUPE, Committee Community, VSB Engagement and coordination of community in Volunteer roles for flyer distribution, signage, working on events, etc.
Kirsten - 732-7355 (Survey)
Event Planning Mika Those accountable for proposals VSB Committee, Community Plan community event to facilitate media exposure to gain awaremess of the Garibaldi situation and to engage the community in being part of a wonderful Community space
Event planning: Kamal/Terri Bishop
Approved Enhancement to Proposal Liaison Seanna/Kate/Meaghan Those accountable for proposal VSB, Community, CUPE, FH Community, VSB, To provide guidance and coordination to enhace the integrated plan being prepared, to provide updates pertanent to the success of the integrated plan around special programming

Asian Community Liaison Sharon/Leanna Committee, Community, Randi - CUPE Community, FH, Randi -CUPE, Committee Community, VSB To share information, gather insights and suggestions towards the enhancement of the integrated plan

Secretary Rebecca Committee Committee Community, VSB To record events, action and deliverables of both committees

Garibaldi Program Working Committee Accountable Responsible Consulted Informed
Parent 1 Hal PAC FH, Cupe, Proposal Groups, VSB Garibaldi Action Committee, Community
Parent 2 Kamal PAC FH, Cupe, Proposal Groups, VSB Garibaldi Action Committee, Community
Frog Hollow Representative Diane Wilman FH FH, Cupe, Proposal Groups, VSB Garibaldi Action Committee, Community
Frog Hollow Representative Gary Dobbin FH FH, Cupe, Proposal Groups, VSB Garibaldi Action Committee, Community
Community Member 1 Nora TBD FH, Cupe, Proposal Groups, VSB Garibaldi Action Committee, Community
Community Member 2 Cheryl Taylor Lee TBD FH, Cupe, Proposal Groups, VSB Garibaldi Action Committee, Community
Facilitator Scott Program Decision Committee FH, Cupe, Proposal Groups, VSB Garibaldi Action Committee, Community

Garibaldi Review Committee Accountable Responsible Consulted Informed
Distritc Management VSB - Facilities TBD TBD TBD Community, VSB Board of Trustees
Distritc Management VSB - Finance and Administration TBD TBD TBD Community, VSB Board of Trustees
District Management VSB - Learning Services TBD TBD TBD Community, VSB Board of Trustees
Parent 1 Kate TBD TBD Community, VSB Board of Trustees
Parent 2 Seanna TBD TBD Community, VSB Board of Trustees
School Staff TBD TBD TBD Community, VSB Board of Trustees
School Staff TBD TBD TBD Community, VSB Board of Trustees

February 12 2008 Garibaldi Action Community Meeting Agenda

1 Acknowledgement of community process 5 minutes
2 Matrix 10 minutes
3 Timeline 10 minutes
4 Stakeholder presentations 30 minutes
5 Formation of committee 10 minutes
6 Volunteer Recruitment 10 minutes

7 Event Planning -Working Group Recruitment 10 minutes
8 Other business/working groups 35 minutes

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sustainable non-coercion

Keira McPhee has posted a new blog item on sustainable non-coersion, which you can read by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Community Meeting Called for Tuesday, February 12

Subject: Community Meeting regarding the future of Garibaldi Annex

Garibaldi Annex needs you! The objective of this meeting is for the community of Garibaldi to engage in a community process with community groups, organizations and the VSB in developing viable programming options for the continued operation of the Annex.

Date: February 12th, 2008
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Garibaldi Annex, 1025 Slocan St., Vancouver


  1. Acknowledgement of community process 5 minutes
  2. Process and Responsibility Matrix 10 minutes
  3. Possible Process Timeline 10 minutes
  4. Committee Formation 10 minutes
  5. Stakeholder presentations 30 minutes (approx.)
  6. Survey - Volunteer Recruitment 10 minutes
  7. Event Planning – Volunteer Recruitment 10 minutes
  8. Other business/Q&A/Working groups 35 minutes
To sign up for stakeholder presentations (please keep presentations to 5 minutes), please contact Hal Milne at 604-879-0170 or Kate Mulligan 604-254-1060 or please email your request to be added to the agenda to garibaldi.annex@gmail.com.

Childcare is being arranged and will be confirmed here

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Minutes of Feb 1 Meeting regarding the ongoing process to for continued operation of Garibaldi Annex with Frog Hollow/VSB/Cupe and PAC Representation

Friday, February 1st, 2008 9:30 am, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
Minutes submitted by Kate Mulligan

Meeting Attendance:
Dan Marriott, Acting Superintendent, VSB
Jennifer Cook, VSB Coordinator, Education Services, Support to Superintendent.
Gary Dobbin, Executive Director, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
Diane Wilman, Director of Family Programs, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
Randi Gurholt-Seary, CUPE BC
Hal Milne, Community Member and Member of Garibaldi PAC
Kamal Lal, Community Member and Member of Garibaldi PAC

  1. Introduction
    1. Dan Marriott
    2. Goals/Roles of liaison with VSB
  2. Overview of community process and vision for the school: some of the emerging options-alignment with VSB broader goals.
  3. Meeting schedule and VSB resources available.
  4. Other
  5. Community Group

Goals/ Roles of liaison with VSB
Dan Marriott will contact Gary and Hal to discuss.
Dan made clear that he would not be able to pre-approve any proposal. His role is one of communication and assisting with any need for information regarding the implications of various options and around process and procedure.

Dan Marriott mentioned that the individuals who signed the list to participate in a “committee” and provided their emails have not been contacted, he will look into it.
Dan was to get back to the group regarding the confusion around another interest group that he had heard made contact. It was thought that he was likely referring to the Community/VSB committee and not a parallel group. He wanted assurances as to how information would be dispersed to the broader Community. Information was provided by Hal as to the communication tree and process.

Community Group:
Frog Hollow’s Proposal will be proceeding with the community’s endorsement as part of the overall proposal put forward.
Community Meeting time will be extended to 9pm at Garibaldi should there be agreement by the Vice Principle of Garibaldi. Dan has spoken with the school Principal to support meetings. Recognized that this would have to be agreed on with the Engineering department as they have a schedule. Cost is considerable to run and keep open but he acknowledged time was needed beyond the 1 hour currently in place; he would talk to departments involved.
Frog Hollow has space to hold community meetings; however, Garibaldi is in walking distance for most people therefore meetings will take place there, should it be feasible.
Dan Marriott stressed the importance of community involvement and support from the community on initiatives. Dan stressed the importance of being unified and having a solid front with openness to community input.
Rumors within the community regarding the possibility for closure led to the reduction of enrollment at the school. Dan said that he would contact DRPC to ensure that they do not refuse registration for Garibaldi as had happened to one family recently trying to register as referenced by Hal. Dan indicated that they would continue to disclose information of the impending closure but accept registration.
Program proposals will be considered by the community on feasibility

Special Programming:
Presently the PAC and Frog Hollow are looking into the feasibility of the following programs: CUPE BC is supporting the PAC, Frog Hollow, and Community in actions that support keeping the school open. CUPE BC is involved to support the collaboration of the partnership between Frog Hollow and Garibaldi CUPE BC and to support Community action. CUPE’s actions of support have to be confirmed by their office.

  • French or Mandarin Immersion
  • Fine Arts
  • Home Schooling

Presently the aforementioned programs have waiting lists.
Dan Marriot commented that special programs such as French Immersion and Fine Arts are “cost neutral”, meaning there are no extra costs to the board to implement French Immersion or Fine Arts programming when compared to regular programs.

Home Schooling: Diane will find out more about program specifics and provide information to access the viability to implement such a program at Garibaldi Annex. Jennifer provided some information on home-schooling.

Gary referred to a special program in New Westminster which is a Distributed Learning School. [Following the meeting, Jennifer confirmed that there is such a school in Vancouver operating out of Sir William Van Horne Elementary jointly with the regular school and is referred to as the “Vancouver Learning Network” (see website: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/B8AD1772-2938-4088-828B-928B32809734/0/03998004.PDF. In this model, the VSB receives full funding for students enroled in the special program, as opposed to students who simply “register” as homeschooled children. Dan Marriott will look into this model further to assist us in evaluating its viability for Garibaldi.]

Dan Marriott said that a Specialty Program joint application normally takes approximately one year to realize. Applications are jointly done by the School Administration and the Community. They receive the same dollars as regular schools and decide internally how they distribute and use funds.

Gary Dobbin suggested that maintaining the enrollment at a minimum of 100 students would likely be necessary to ensure the ongoing viability of Garibaldi. Dan indicated that the issue as to whether additional children at Garibaldi come from other VSB schools or are “new” students would have to be considered. The value of the property could be an additional consideration, however, there have been no discussions regarding the sale of the building or land to date. The sale of School property would be subject to the right of the provincial and civic governments to claim it for their own purposes.

Questions were raised regarding the stated cost of operating the facility that would be saved if the school were closed ($200K). For example, is the VSB looking at recovering more than this through the sale or rental of the property (“loss of opportunity cost”)?

Action Items:
Dan Marriott agreed to bring the following information back to the group:
  1. the criteria for creating French Immersion, Mandarin Programs, Fine Arts Programs at schools;
  2. the criteria for considering Garibaldi for a model similar to the New Westminster Distributed Learning School (which we now know is already established in Vancouver at Van Horne Elementary, so the question is can we create a second Distributed Learning School as part of Garibaldi?);
  3. would the VSB support us in a bid to request funding for “rent” from MCFD (and others, such as VCH) for community programs run by Frog Hollow at Garibaldi;
  4. will there be an opportunity for the Garibaldi Community Group to present the final proposal to the VSB in person?

Jennifer Cook agreed to provide information on the following:
1. the number of kids who live within the Garibaldi catchment area but do not attend Garibaldi.

Vancouver Coastal Health was mentioned as a potential resource. We will explore and talk to the Community Developer at Evergreen. Also, Letters of Commitment from Partners such as Coastal Health and MCFD were suggested as a potential source of support.

Next Meeting will be after the Community Meeting Feb/12/2008.

Once again I would like to thank Gary, Diane and Randi and Hal for all their support to keep Garibaldi open.

Meeting Adjourned.

Community Meeting Called for Tuesday, February 12

Subject: Community Meeting regarding the future of Garibaldi Annex

Garibaldi Annex needs you! The objective of this meeting is for the community of Garibaldi to engage in a community process with community groups, organizations and the VSB in developing viable programming options for the continued operation of the Annex.

Date: February 12th, 2008
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Garibaldi Annex, 1025 Slocan St., Vancouver

  1. Acknowledgement of community process 5 minutes
  2. Process and Responsibility Matrix 10 minutes
  3. Possible Process Timeline 10 minutes
  4. Committee Formation 10 minutes
  5. Stakeholder presentations 30 minutes (approx.)
  6. Survey - Volunteer Recruitment 10 minutes
  7. Event Planning – Volunteer Recruitment 10 minutes
  8. Other business/Q&A/Working groups 35 minutes
To sign up for stakeholder presentations (please keep presentations to 5 minutes), please contact Hal Milne at 604-879-0170 or Kate Mulligan 604-254-1060 or please email your request to be added to the agenda to garibaldi.annex@gmail.com.

Lion Saves Garibaldi!

Today a lion visited Garibaldi Annex and scared away any evil spirits that may be threatening it, leaving it with good luck for another year. Thank you, Lion! Gung Hay Fat Choy!

(photo by Hal Milne)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Save Queen Elizabeth Annex

The Queen Elizabeth Annex in Dunbar area of Vancouver is experiencing the same threat of closure as we are at Garibaldi. I've added a link to their website on the Links section on the left side of this page.
View Larger Map