Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vancouver Board of School Trustees, December 2005-December 2008

Below is a list of the Vancouver School Board Trustees. We encourage everyone to write to them with your concerns about the future of Garibaldi.

Allen Blakey
Phone: 604-433-6844
Secondary Schools
Gladstone, Point Grey

Elementary Schools
Beaconsfield, Cunningham, Kerrisdale & Annex,Quilchena, Norquay, Selkirk & Annex, Southlands Tyee

Education Centre
Main Street

Ken Denike
Phone: 604-889-0564

Finance & Legal (Committee V)

Secondary Schools
John Oliver, Prince of Wales, Tupper

Elementary Schools
Brock, Carnarvon, Dickens & Annex, Livingstone, McBride & Annex, Nightingale, Shaughnessy, Trafalgar

Henderson & Annex, Mackenzie, Moberly, Tecumseh & Annex, Trudeau:
(Sharon Gregson)

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

Vice-Chair of the Board


Personnel & Staff Services (Committee IV)

Secondary Schools
University Hill, Vancouver Technical

Elementary Schools
Begbie, Maquinna & Annex, Mount Pleasant, Queen Alexandra, Secord, Thunderbird, University Hill

Education Centre
Gathering Place

Eleanor Gregory
Phone: 604-737-1980

Education & Student Services (Committee III)

Secondary Schools
Eric Hamber, Killarney

Elementary Schools
Carr, Cavell, Champlain Heights & Annex, Cook, Fraser, MacCorkindale, Olser, Van Horne, Waverley, Weir, Wolfe

Education Centre
Downtown East

Sharon Gregson
Phone: 604-505-5725 (cell)

Secondary Schools
Lord Byng

Elementary Schools
Kitchener, Queen Elizabeth & Annex, Queen Mary, Jules Quensel

Clarence Hansen (Chairperson)
Phone: 778-239-9602

Chairperson of the Board

Secondary Schools
Britannia, Magee

Elementary Schools
Britannia, Grandview, McKechnie, Maple Grove, Queen Victoria Annex, Seymour, Strathcona

Don Lee
Phone: 604-325-9474

Management Co-ordinating (Committee I)

Secondary Schools
Churchill, Templeton

Elementary Schools
Franklin, Garibaldi, Hastings, Jamieson, Laurier & Annex, L'Ecole Bilingue, Lloyd George, Lord, Macdonald, Nelson, Tillicum Annex, Sexsmith

Education Centre
South Hill

Allan Wong
Phone: 604-437-6074

Secondary Schools
David Thompson, King George
Elementary Schools
Dougas & Annex, Elsie Roy, Fleming, Kingsford-Smith, Oppenheimer, Lord Roberts & Annex
Education Centre
Roberts Education Centre

Shirley Wong
Phone: 604-897-8389 (cell)
Planning & Facilites (Committee II)

Secondary Schools
Kitsilano, Windermere

Elementary Schools
Bayview, Bruce, Carleton, Collingwood, False Creek, Grenfell, Gordon, Hudson, Nootka, Renfrew, Tennyson

Education Centre

Posting to this Blog

If you'd like to create your own posts in this blog (as opposed to just replying to mine), please send me and email at and I will send you an invitation. This will make it easier for you to get your ideas out to the community (and make less work for me!).

VSB Telling New Parents that Garibaldi will Close

I was disturbed to hear from a parent enrolling (at the registration building on East 43rd Avenue) her son at Garibaldi that the VSB strongly urged her not to enroll her son in Garibaldi because it would close at the end of June. The parent persisted and her son joins the grade 3's at Garibaldi next week, bringing the total number of students to 44.
It appears the administration at the East 43rd Avenue site has been misinformed regarding the current process to keep Garibaldi open.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Notes from January 29 Meeting

Last night we met the community and stakeholders to exchange information and discuss our options for keeping the school open. Amongst the speakers were:

Gary Dobbin and Diane Wilmann of Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House spoke of their offerings.
Sam Fillipoff spoke about Acts of Transformation: From War Toys to Peace Art and the possible use of Garibaldi as a demonstration centre.
Randi Gurholt-Seary of CUPE
James of New Westminster Home Learners spoke on home schooling options.
Helen Hughes spoke on Windsor House School parent participation school.
Giovanna Cortese spoke on her over-flowing daycare and her interest in using space at Garibaldi.

... and possibly others whose names don't come to mind.

Gary made the point that while the VSB's mandate is to provide the kinds of programs Frog Hollow offers, the VSB is handcuffed by the economic restraints imposed by the BC government. So, it is important that the economics issues be addressed by any proposal we put forward.

February 12 is the likely next date for a community meeting. We'll confirm and give details in coming posts.

When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take it: Public School Education, Community and State

This is David King's (former Alberta Minister of Education) lecture at the University Manitoba, March 14, 2007. Many of the points are relevant to the interest in community focused schools such as Garibaldi.

Click here to download the lecture
(.doc format).
Here is a link to the original lecture notice.

Thanks to Hal for bringing this to our attention.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Role of Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House: Garibaldi School Threatened Closure

Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House is a volunteer-driven community services organization which has offered services in East Vancouver for over 40 years. We support the residents of our community to improve the quality of their lives by providing community programs and services, and building community capacity. Our goal is to work together with residents, other community organizations, all levels of government, and business in order to respond effectively and efficiently to the changing needs of our diverse community. We are committed to serving all members of our community and to building our community through encouraging citizen engagement, skill development, self-reliance, and by providing a place to feel a sense of belonging and support.

In response to community need, Frog Hollow first became involved at Garibaldi Annex in 2006 to offer programs in unused school space for children and their families aged 0-6. Over time this model has expanded and developed to become a partnership model of service delivery which includes the school, Frog Hollow, Pacific Immigrant Resource Society, Partners in Education (Canuck Foundation), Vancouver Public Library and Community Health. Through this model families with children from birth to grade four can find education, family support, ESL and early learning opportunities at Garibaldi school. Currently, non school programming uses two rooms in the school as well as occasional use of the gym.

With the onset of the VSB facilities review and decline in school enrollment, the issue of school closure has reached a crucial point. The local community has clearly voiced its desire to keep the school open: over 600 signatures have been collected to date from local residents who wish to see the continuation of their local community school. A strong parent group has met and organized and presented to the Vancouver School Board, as has Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, to propose that the issue of low enrollment should be addressed not by school closure but by a strong community-based, collaborative solution. This solution should be based on both multi-use of the school facility and a shift in programming at the school to better meet community needs.

The role of Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House is to support community leadership in realizing this new vision for Garibaldi Annex School. We are committed to working with parents, community members, partner organizations, the VSB and potential funding agencies to build on the existing multi-use model and develop a proposal acceptable to the Vancouver School Board. Please feel free to contact us if you have specific ideas or comments with regard to this proposal.

Gary Dobbin, Executive Director
Diane Wilmann, Director of Family Programs

Telephone: 604 251 1225

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House Proposal

Diane Wilmann of Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House has made available the Frog Hollow Proposal for programs at Garibabldi. You can download a copy by clicking here. There is also a link in the Links section at the left-hand-side of the page.

Friday, January 25, 2008

January 29 Garibaldi Meeting Update

Note that time of the January 29 community meeting at Garibaldi (1025 Slocan) has been changed to 7:00 PM.

Charles Menzies Education Blog

Charles Menzies, an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, has written to tell us of his education blog called In Support of Public Education. I've placed a link to this excellent blog on the Links list on the left side of this page. In the blog he references Garibaldi and other schools in a similar situation as well as Noel Herron and the Vancouver Sun's blogger, Steffenhagen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

PAC Meeting set for Tuesday, January 29. 2008

A PAC meeting has been called for (Note time change!) 7:00 PM, Tuesday, January 29, 2008, at Garibaldi Annex, 1025 Slocan Street. Likely, discussion will centre around how to implement our plan of Frog Hollow and multi-use programs and how to communicate and plan the programs with the community. Free childcare will be provided at the meeting.

If you'd like to help out with any of the following roles, please attend. There is room for more than one person per role.

1. Liaison with Media
2. Liaison with Ministry of Ed, City Representatives, MLA
3. Liaison with VSB
4. Liaison with Interest groups (Frog Hollow, CUPE, VESTA, DPAC, etc.): Kate and Hal (Temporarily)
5. Liaison with Community:
Crystal Hollywood + ?
6. Liaison with Asian Community: Sofia + Leanne + Ann + ?
7. Liaison with Parents
8. Liaison with other PAC’s and Schools of Interest

Monday, January 21, 2008


The following article was passed on to me by Hal Milne.
With the possible closure and sale of the Westside's Queen Elizabeth School Annex (129 kindergarten to Grade 3 students) by a cash-starved Vancouver School Board, to raise an estimated $ 25 million to fund the relocation of University Hill Secondary students in UBC's vacant National
Research building, questions now arises about the continued viability of Vancouver's entire network of small school annexes.

Why Annexes were built

Unique to Vancouver, and dating back to the mid 50's, these 16 small (see list), primary, buildings serve young children by emphasizing a close knit, nurturing, educational environment. Size, proximity and adaptability of instruction
were important considerations in the setting up of this distinct network of schools.

Most annexes were specifically located to avoid having students younger than Grade 4 cross busy arterial intersections. Spread across the city and averaging 100 students, these educational entities are highly regarded and strongly supported by parents.

Indeed many of the VSB's significant curriculum changes to its early childhood programs-- the writing of the province's first all-day kindergarten program; the introduction of the informal, influential, British Infant School approach to early learning-- emanated from the collaborative work of primary teaching staffs and parents in these buildings.

The first cuts to Annexes

Because of financial constraints due to declining enrollment (the board has lost 4,300 students since 1997), and pressure from the ministry of education on Vancouver to reduce excess capacity in the recently announced UBC/Dunbar review, (the first phase of a three-part reorganization plan), the board, it seems, has now made the decision to zero in
for possible closures on its network of small primary annexes.
Apart from the closure of Shannon Park Annex over four years ago these cuts now represent the first of a string of closures across the city.

Many annex parents have voiced concerns about the transfer of their children to what has been called 'big box' schools.
While Garibaldi annex's financial sustainability is in question with only 41 students, parents in this school feel that VSB has not, up to recently, explored options such as a full-service (providing an array of local social/health and ancillary services) school to ward off closure.

Challenging the ministry

Despite the fact that Queen Elizabeth Annex with three times the number of students-129- that Garibaldi has, it remains on the chopping block. This has led some parents to strongly challenge, for the first time, using a comparable economic/business model, the practicality and fairness of the forced closures stemming from the 95% occupancy rate imposed by the ministry of education on Vancouver.

The future?

Within the past few months the NPA-dominated Vancouver
Board has been examining the closure of both Garibaldi and Queen Elizabeth annexes and this trend now points to the closure of at least five or six other Vancouver annexes with declining enrollment when the next two phases of the board's reorganization plans are announced.

An under-100-sudents mark has been suggested as the at- --risk figure for closure, but confirmation of this cut off statistic is difficult to obtain.

In a recent report in the Vancouver Sun VSB chair, Clarence Hansen, insisted that "the proposed closures and program changes to redistribute enrolment in the rest of the city remain confidential" despite calls from COPE opposition trustees to release the original, city-wide, review prepared by the former director of facilities, Les King, and tabled, in camera, last June.

Because of the NPA-dominated board's three-phased approach to school reorganization and closures-- termed "fragmented and rushed "by opposition trustees-the system-wide debate on the future of small school annexes in Vancouver, it appears, will not now take place.

Will many annexes quietly disappear from the scene without analysis or discussion?

It's ironic that the VSB's in its recent hand-outs at ongoing school meetings speak, (using ponderous terminology), about a "desire for alternative options for elementary students" within a" broadened common neighbourhood of learning" yet, the current trend now points to the questionable elimination of many stellar and long-established school annexes for young children.

Lastly, the question must be asked: are these closures really the balancing "of needs with opportunities" that the Vancouver school board seeks in its initial foray into city-wide school reorganization?



Champlain Heights Annex 85
Collingwood Neighbourhood
(Bruce Annex) 154
Dickens Annex 104
Douglas Annex 199
Garibaldi 41
Henderson Annex 105
Kerrisdale Annex 122
Laurier Annex 136
Maquinna Annex 109
McBride Annex 97
Queen Elizabeth Annex 129
Queen Victoria Annex 133
Roberts Annex 146
Selkirk Annex 99
Tecumseh Annex 114
Tillicum Annex 119

Note: The second school-based meeting on the closure of Queen
Elizabeth Annex will be held at 7:00 pm on Jan 29, .while the board
will vote on the closure of Garibaldi in March.

Noel Herron is a former Vancouver school principal and school
trustee. This article will appear in an upcoming edition of the
Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' newsletter.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Minutes from January 15 PAC/Community Meeting

On Tuesday, January 15, we met to plan our proposal to the VSB to meet their viability criteria. Below are Kate Mulligan's notes.

The meeting went over stakeholders interests in keeping the school open and was well represented by varying community and interest groups. The meeting discussed possibilities for programming options to be brought to the table. It was decided that Frog Hollow would take action immediately and that that Frog Hollow would to pursue discussion with the VSB board regarding the committee that was proposed as a result of the meeting on December 12th. They will also start the process of working with other community organizations and stakeholders to enhance their plan.

Further to that the majority agreed that the Multi-Use program (pre-school, daycare, afterschool care, literacy and immigrant) idea would be the most realistic approach to take with the board considering:

· The time frame

· The fact that Frog Hollow has a basic plan that could be enhanced

· All agree that the neighbourhood could use a school/community space offering these particular services

· The board indicated on December 12th that the most tangible presentation was that of Frog Hollow's and that it would be something the board would consider

These are the roles that were determined for the internal Garibaldi stakeholders committee would be (two individuals per role if possible):

1. Liaison with Media
2. Liaison with Ministry of Ed, City Representatives, MLA
3. Liaison with VSB
4. Liaison with Interest groups (Frog Hollow, CUPE, VESTA, DPAC, etc.): Kate and Hal (Temporarily)
5. Liaison with Community
6. Liaison with Asian Community: Crystal Hollywood
7. Liaison with Parents
8. Liaison with other PAC’s and Schools of Interest

If you'd like to volunteer for any of these roles, please call Kate Mulligan at 604-254-1060 or Scott Morgan at 604-630-8750.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vancouver Sun blog quotes VSB Superintent on Phase 1 - Annexes too expensive

Follow the following link to read Janet Steffenhagen's blog following a meeting between VSB Superintendent Chris Kelly and the Sun editorial board.

Vancouver Sun Blog by Janet Steffenhagen

Diane Wilmann's (Frog Hollow) Presentation to the VSB December 12, 2007

Full Presentation To VSB December 12th

Good Evening, my name is Diane Wilmann, Director of Family Programs at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House. I live in the Garibaldi neighbourhood and I am the mother of two school aged children, one of whom was fortunate enough to spend her Grade Four Year at Garibaldi School.

Let me begin by saying that there are few who would argue that a school population of 40 can be sustained in an urban context. The issues facing the school board in terms of budgets, declining enrollment and lack of Ministry Funding for new mandates around Early and Lifelong learning are real problems that need to be addressed. Not problems which can be addressed easily, but problems that the Vancouver School Board need not face alone.

If we agree that the current situation is not tenable, where to we go from here?

That depends on what matters to us - and what we willing to do for the things that matter.

Does it matter to us that according to the UBC research body HELP that 45.8 % - think about it almost ½ - of children in this community arrive in school vulnerable to failure? Does it matter that out of this group of vulnerable kids, in our community, unlike many other parts of Vancouver, most of those kids will be failing to meet expectations by grade four? Does it matter that kids who fail by grade four, will likely continue to struggle, will require expensive additional resources to support their learning, and some will run the risk of leaving school learn nothing so well as their status as failures.

I believe that to these children, to their families, to our community as a whole and anyone involved in education - this matters deeply.

And if it matters deeply, we need to be willing to make stronger decisions than closing a wonderful school in a community of great need. We need to make other choices that locking the gates to Garibaldi and getting back to business as usual, when “business as usual” is failing our children and failing our community.

So are there other realistic solutions? Absolutely.

We are not just a community of need, we are also a community full of people who are creative, resourceful, intelligent and willing to work for a better place to raise their children. We are a community full of young children. We are a community with a committed group of local agencies who need a meaningful partnership with the Vancouver School Board to address the issues we face and support the Board in fulfilling its new mandates for Early Learning and Lifelong learning. We are a community where alternatives such as Fine Arts programming, specialized language programs or home school support programs are in high demand, and could revitalize the school and community – increasing enrollment and lowering student costs of attending the school. We are a community asking for a commitment from the school board to work with us in our diversity; families who are seeking enrichment for their children, families who need extra support. We want to work on assisting the Vancouver School Board to

“ensure the highest quality of learning experiences for all students, with a focus on student engagement, learning and development in a safe, inclusive environment”
(and these words are taken directly from the VSB website)

We need to reinvent Garibaldi so that the needs and capacities of the whole community can be expressed and acted upon. We need to demonstrate that collectively, Garibaldi Annex can become a story where statistics like the 36.1% of adults who did not complete high school (the lowest educational levels outside the downtown eastside), the 45.8% vulnerability of children will not be ignored but instead overcome by new and innovative models of learning.

Frog Hollow provides service to 532 local families with children under six through family resource, daycare and preschool programming. Our summer program at local Clinton park was attended by hundreds of local preschool children, almost all of these families live in walking distance to the school. Frog Hollow family program staff are forced to turn away families with young children on a daily basis – we still simply do not have the space.

In spring 2006 as part of an effort to address this issue, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House met with the Vancouver School Board to explore the idea of possible partnerships at Garibaldi annex. The School Board seemed open and by spring of this year we had worked with other local community service providers to leverage funds from the United Way for a new Early and Lifelong learning project centred at Garibaldi school. Pacific Immigrant Resource Society, Partners in Education (Canucks Foundation), Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver Coastal Health have been working together at Garibaldi Annex since Spring 2007 to provide Family Resource programming, ESL classes and preschool, child and family literacy programs, parenting programs, active living programs and health supports. Since initiating programs 80 families with preschool children have already been involved. We secured $70,000 annually of new money to run these programs. The approach is a team one and the school staff and administration have been very much part of the team. The array of programs offered are open to the whole community – as the EDI information shows – vulnerable children can come from any part of the socio-economic spectrum.

Building something new takes time to demonstrate successful outcomes. Our vision is to continue to offer these programs, work with MCFD to access dollars to add childcare to the facility( we have 100 families currently on our waitlist for spaces and 20 years of experience to bring) and support the Vancouver School Board in working with families to explore new options for school programming at the site. With a meaningful commitment from all partners, the long term possibilities are unlimited and exciting.

So what are we willing to do for the things that matter?

Ignore the needs and capacities of our community, and the future of its children, just hoping that business as usual might somehow result in different outcomes. Or pretend that bigger is always better. Buy into some counter-intuitive notion that huge buildings and hundreds of children is the perfect environment for every six year old. Or should we think a little bit about what David and Tom might say (these are not their real names). David was a classmate and friend of my daughter when she spent her year at Garibaldi Annex. His parents spoke little English, worked hard to provide for David and their family. They had come to parenthood later in life. David lives with Downs Syndrome as well as other developmental issues but was known and loved by students, staff and parents involved at the School. Through the year, my daughter came home and happily shared the successes and milestones achieved by David, as she did her other friends. David graduated together with his peers, his support worker sharing his long list of accomplishments at his graduation to rousing cheers from the audience. Before their journey to the “big school” the Grade Fours were excited to visit their Grade 5 school on an orientation visit. David joined the visit with his buddy Tom. As they walked the corridors, a child from the big school approached Tom and asked him what he was doing hanging out with David, “you don’t look special needs”. I’m not said Tom. David is my friend. With that the tour continued. I am sure Tom has made his transition to the big school and is doing well. I am also sure that his sense of worth, the value that was put upon his accomplishments, that he was known so well to all his small school community gave Tom the foundation he needed to succeed in a bigger school environment and gave David and many others a friendship that they will always value.

So for things that matter, are we willing to shift gears, create a new vision, take the time, energy and effort to approach long term problems in ways that are realistic and innovative and to give all the children in our community, the start they deserve? Tom, David and hundreds of other children living in our community are counting on it.

Keira McPhee Blog

Keira McPhee has a personal blog and often posts on the subject of Garibaldi Annex. You can read her blog at
Articles about Garibaldi can be found at

or type Garibaldi in the Search bar and click Go!.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Garibaldi Viability Plan Kick-off Meeting Tonight!

Tonight we meet to discuss how and what programs we can put in place to meet the VSB criteria for keeping Garibaldi open. Please bring your ideas and show your interest in what programs you would like to have for your children and the community. We meet at

Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, 2131 Renfrew Street

Free childcare will be provided. We have hired experienced teenagers Wendy and Emily, former Garibaldi students, with a brother still at the school. Wendy and Emily have provided childcare for past Garibaldi PAC meetings and know most of the children well.

Monday, January 14, 2008

COPE Press Release - NPA School Closure and Reorganization Plan

Thanks to Halford Milne for passing on the following press release.
Immediate Release: Jan 14, 2008:

Vancouver COPE School Trustees blast NPA school closure and reorganization plan.

"Utter stupidity," is how COPE School Trustee Allen Blakey describes the Vancouver NPA school trustees' UBC/Dunbar Street Study of school closures. Blakey says the study, which reviews only one part of the entire district in isolation from the rest of the district’s schools, is "a fragmented and totally inadequate approach."

All three COPE trustees want a report prepared by former Vancouver School Board facilities director Les King to be released immediately to counter the current piecemeal approach to school closures. King's report, commissioned by the previous Board, was tabled in camera last June by the NPA. COPE trustees say this is the only document thatprovides a district-wide perspective on school closures, as well as program consolidation, amalgamation and re-location.

Rushed agenda mocks public consultation:
COPE Trustee Sharon Gregson said scheduling six back-to-back meetings, the first at University Hill Secondary on January14, and the last on January 22, “makes a mockery of the board’s claim to meaningful consultation." Parent and teacher representatives have also strongly criticized the Board's rushed agenda.

Gregson notes that District Parent Advisory Committee representatives are concerned that parents do not have adequate time to study all the detailed documentation released by the Board.

Sale and leasing of school building challenged:
COPE trustees say plans to sell off school property and lease some buildings is flawed. The decision to reach an agreement with UBC by this March to eventually move University Hill secondary students into a building vacated by the National Research Council in the University Endowment Lands, is particularly ill-conceived. COPE trustees point out that UBC is offering the Board only a limited lease on the NRC building.
“There is an urgent need for proper facilities for U Hill students, as their current school is cramped and inadequate,” said Blakey, “But this rushed plan skews the entire proposal and could impact negatively on other schools in the Dunbar area."

COPE trustees also strongly disagree with the rush to sell taxpayer owned land at Queen Elizabeth School Annex in order to defray the cost of new schools before considering other options. Furthermore, with the ongoing explosion of the school population in the University Endowment lands, the possibility of needing two new elementary schools, not one, was very much in the mix.
Vancouver's 16 school annexes at risk:
Within the past six weeks the Board has announced the possible closure of two of the city's 16 school annexes - Garibaldi, on the Eastside, and Queen Elizabeth on the Westside- without considering the district-wide implications of closing these valued, entities.

With an average of 100 students each, these small, closely knit annexes are unique to Vancouver and have been providing services for young children from kindergarten to Grades 3 and 4 for over 45 years. So far there has been no district-wide consultation with parents and teachers about the continued existence of annexes.

Seismic upgrading concerns emerge:
“I am appalled that since this NPA-dominated board has come to power in 2005, not a single Vancouver school has been approved for seismic upgrading," said COPE Trustee Allan Wong.
Wong notes that the UBC/Dunbar Study schedules University Hill Secondary and Queen Elizabeth Main Elementary for seismic upgrading, bumping them above other schools that were accorded a higher priority on the VSB list of designated schools. Wong says this is as an example of how the current isolated approach is distorting district-wide planning.

Information: Trustee Al Blakey 604-433-6844,
Trustee Sharon Gregson 604-505-5725,
Trustee Allan Wong 604-437-6074,

Childcare Confirmed for PAC Meeting

Free childcare for tomorrow's meeting has been confirmed. The meeting details are

On Tuesday, January 15, we will hold a
meeting to discuss the VSB criteria for keeping Garibaldi open, create a
plan to achieve the criteria and call for volunteers to help out with
whatever needs to be done.

The meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at the Frog Hollow
Neighbourhood House at 2131 Renfrew Street

See you there!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Comments on VSB Proposed Process and Criteria for Continued Operation of Garibaldi Annex

Last night the VSB held a public meeting in part to discuss the District Management's document entitled Proposed Process and Criteria for Continued Operation of Garibaldi Annex. The document proposed a tight time line for the community to generate proposals and for the board to consider the proposals and vote on whether they are sufficient to justify keeping Garibaldi open. I've heard second-hand that, thanks to the input of members of the Committee II/III, the time line has been extended by the board, closer to that of the original December 12 amendment to the motion to close Garibaldi. I believe the final vote would take place on or after April 8, 2008. Meeting minutes are not yet available, but when details are made known I will link them here.
The proposed criteria (I don't know if this description will be changed based on the meeting discussion before being voted upon, but will update if found to be otherwise) is as follows:
  1. potential for enhanced education opportunities
  2. consistency with Board policy on alternate external use of facilities; and
  3. impact on VSB staffing and revenues and expenditures
A grave concern with criteria 1 and 3 is that they are not measurable and as such are meaningless. There is no way for the community to design a solution if the goal posts are not known in advance. Useful metrics might have been along the lines of: put in a plan that would
  • reduce the cost per student to $8,000/year by 2013,
  • offset the operational costs by $50,000/year (through night programs or third-party daycare and preschool providers)
  • eliminate the lengthy French Immersion waiting list at Hastings school
As such, the Board's members cannot be held accountable to how they vote in April as it will be up to each member to make up their own minds as to whether the criteria have been met rather than to measure against a self-evident metric. Comments?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Update to the Garibaldi Viability Plan Kick-off Meeting

The Kick-off meeting has been postponed to Tuesday, January 15, and now will be held at 7:00 PM at the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, 2131 Renfrew Street (click here for a map). Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. On the agenda is the VSB's stated criteria for keeping the school open. We'll be discussing options and assigning roles. Come get involved!
Free childcare at the site is being arranged and will be announced here when confirmed.

Monday, January 7, 2008

VSB Commitee Meetings called for Thursday, January 10

There is another joint committee 2/3 meeting Thursday at 5:30, followed by an open board meeting at 7:00 PM with 2 items on the agenda:
1. Garibaldi Annex - proposed criteria and process for continued operation (report to be provided at the meeting)
2. Education Facilities Review - phase 1 implementation

At least 2 DPAC executives will be in attendance for both meetings.

Source: Julianne Doctor, DPAC

Meeting Schedule
Board Meeting Agenda

Vancouver Sun Article on Appeal Process

The following link to a proposed student appeal process was left as a comment to the previous post:

Click here for Vancouver Sun article

Garibaldi Viability Plan Kick-off Meeting

Update - Meeting Postponed to Tuesday, January 15 at Frog Hollow
see January 10 post

Welcome back to school, everyone!
The Parents Advisory Council will meet Thursday night, January 10, to start putting a plan together for achieving the VSB viability goal. Please call Kate at 604-254-1060 if you'd like to get involved. Calling is important as space may be limited.
Still outstanding from the school board is what measure they will use to determine whether the school is viable. We hope to receive such a measure in the next couple of weeks.