Board News: Tuesday December 10, 2019
December 10, 2019
The Regular Meeting of the Langley Board of Education is streamed live beginning at 7:00 pm. A link to the video is posted here in Board News.
Due to technical difficulties, we had to restart the livestream. The livestream begins at the delegations portion of the agenda. We appreciate your patience.
Fort Langley Elementary – Secondary School Options – Martina Boyd
Martina Boyd, Fort Langley Parent Advisory Council President, shared thoughts from some members from her community about the DW Poppy Consultation and broader considerations related to catchment and future enrolment. She outlined how many in her community have strong ties to the Walnut Grove community and use the business and recreational services on a regular basis. She wants the District and Board to consider a few options for her community: allowing Fort Langley Elementary graduates to attend their choice of either Walnut Grove Secondary or DW Poppy or to consider redrawing the catchment. She closed by saying Option 3 as presented in the consultation is not a solution for her community. The video above will begin on this agenda item.
Aldergrove / DW Poppy Community Consultation
Superintendent Gord Stewart opened by giving an overview of items that would be heard in the following presentation including the feedback and possible next steps. He explained the purpose of the consultation and how it wasn’t an easy process for the public, staff, and the Board to go through. He mentioned all of the positive (e.g. acknowledgement of great schools) and negative things that came out of the conversations in the community (e.g. perceived differences between communities, lack of trust in the District and Board). He also reviewed the feedback model.
Before presenting the Board consultation report, Assistant Superintendent Woody Bradford invited the principals of DW Poppy and Aldergrove Community Secondary School an opportunity to speak about their experiences from the consultation process.
Dean Pacheco, principal of DW Poppy, opened with his work on the transition committee for the last three years. During that time, he said he’s always been trying to ensure the school provides the best opportunity and hope for his students. He acknowledged the support received from the District to ensure students are afforded a lot of opportunities. He explained how difficult the consultation has been for many students, staff and parents. He also noted how sad it was to see people make comments in person and social media and that were disparaging against the ACSS community, District staff and others, and how it was not representative of the broader community. He closed by saying the community is the answer to overcoming obstacles.
Jeremy Lyndon, principal of Aldergrove Community Secondary School, opened his speech with comments on how the consultation process was well designed and with a good mechanism of feedback. He mentioned how he communicated with staff about how feedback was not meant to be about sharing differences between the two communities. He referred to the consultation as “a tale of two schools” and how in the end the community brought up perceived differences. He talked about a single story narrative and how damaging it can be when stereotypes are perpetuated. He talked about all the positive things about ACSS and cited numerous examples of activities and initiatives that help build up the community.
Assistant Superintendent Woody Bradford presented the consultation report to the Board. He thanked the team involved for all of their work. He reviewed the consultation process, and the three options presented. He outlined the following items relevant to the report: enrolment of DW Poppy and ACSS, the communication structures for submitting feedback (community meetings, online survey, and emails), and the breakdown of the feedback. He said a majority of the feedback came from the DW Poppy community. He reviewed all of the findings from the meetings, the survey and emails. Major themes from the feedback included concerns over transportation, safety and wellbeing, impact on extracurricular activities, and loss of community. It was made clear that a majority of participants don’t want any of the options. Those that identified as members of Fort Langley community expressed they want students to attend Walnut Grove. Members of the Kwantlen First Nations community expressed they want their students to have choice and flexibility on the school they attend. Bradford outlined staff recommendations.
The Board of Education passed the following three motions:
As a result of the consultation feedback, District staff recommends Option 3 is not possible to implement a Middle School in the DW Poppy Region.
That the Board of Education refers to ya:y̓əstəl̕ using the BC Tripartite Education Agreement and Local Education Agreements as frameworks to address their desire for student flexibility and priority in the schools they choose to attend, including both neighbourhood and choice programs.
That District staff take the information they have learned through the consultation and work with the Aldergrove Transition Committee to develop options for educational enhancements to programming and scheduling between Betty Gilbert Middle School and ACSS and report back to the Board for consideration of next steps at a future Regular meeting.
The Board of Education referred the following three staff recommendations to a future Finance and Facilities committee meeting:
Explore that District staff investigate the possibility of changing the Fort Langley Elementary catchment from the DW Poppy catchment to the Walnut Grove catchment and report back to the Board for consideration.
Explore that the K-5 and K-7 Fundamental program be reviewed to align with the District’s middle school model and report back to the Board for consideration.
Explore that District staff utilize the feedback gathered during the consultation to work with the DW Poppy Transition Committee to continue to develop options for middle school programming in the DW Poppy region.
The video above will begin on this agenda item.