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

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: