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Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 1:02 PM To: Cathy Kelt; Donna Allen; Bill Bard; Jamie Brennan;

Nancy Curley; Kim Howland; Dot Neary; Bill Robinson; TerryLynn Saunders; Sharon Welch Subject: One last plea

Dear Trustees: You have already received many emails from me regarding the proposed Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan and possible alternatives to the plan. I would like to make one last suggestion regarding this proposal. As a reminder, I am a parent of a kindergarten child at Woodbank Primary. I am also the parent who started, co-ordinated and ran the Forest Kindergarten program at Woodbank this year. I say this so that you understand that I am an involved and engaged parent in my school community. I believe in the power of the public school system. I was a high school teacher for many years with the Toronto District School Board and I also have my MA in Educational Studies from UBC along with the completion of course work towards acquiring my PhD in Education. I bleed education. I have spent my entire adult life working within and for public schooling. This plan is flawed. Not only is the plan flawed but the process under which this plan was presented to the community. Many parents within this community still have no idea why this plan was put in place. What could have been done in a community building and enhancing way, instead has created great animosity between the school board and board of trustees with parents in this community. I understand that SD68 has many facilities that are operating beyond their life span (40%) and that in a request from the ministry of education for funds to rebuild and renew our aging school facilities the ministry told SD68 that they needed to fill over 1000 empty seats in operating schools. I understand that this is the impetus for this plan. I also acknowledge that there are many problems with the current school buildings and empty seats in the Cedar area. 4 elementary schools is too many when you can fit all the students into 2 buildings. However, the process of engaging the community in helping solve this problem has been completely mishandled from the cery beginning. Instead of coming into the communities in December and asking the communities for help solving the problem, an outsider was hired to the tune of over $20 000 to study our board. Then this outsider's plan was downloaded on the community and we were told to study it and forward our questions to you, the trustees and you would get us answers. When those answers didn't come, we were told you were coming into our community 12 days before the end of the consultation process to answer questions. Then when that day arrived we were told that you actually weren't going to answer questions. And now you are having a meeting to decide the future of the way we educate our children after the last day of schooling. This has all be far too rushed and far too adversarial. Here is what I propose you do on June 26. As a board, acknowledge that we have aging facilities that need immediate improvement. Strike a committee for each of the 4 identified areas for which you held community meetings in. Each committee should consist of the trustees of the impacted schools, parents from each school, high school aged students from the schools impacted, staff members from each school and members of the local first nations communities. These committees can best decide how to represent the desires of the their community and the school board can work along side the community to solve this conundrum . If you aren't willing to form committees then at least slow down this process. Among the reasons for building these enhanced facilities is to try to attract more students to the SD68. However, this process has only made me and a number of other parents in this area feel that we can no longer trust that the school board is being run by people who have any experience in how to operate a public school system. My son's best interests are not being met by the people in charge of this board. It is with this feeling in mind that I have begun to look for alternative schooling options for my one son who is currently enrolled in the board and my other son who is scheduled to begin school in September 2016. It is a very, very, very big deal for me to be considering any other form of schooling for my children other then the public school system. As I stated earlier, I have spent my entire life supporting the public school system and this process has eroded all faith that I had in that system. If anything other then a slowing down of this process happens on June 26 I will have to seriously consider whether I continue to school my children within SD68. Sincerely, Stephanie Higginson

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