For Immediate Release: December 7th, 2010

COPE School Board Trustees advance key improvements to school closures report

At tonight’s Committee II/III meeting, COPE Trustees advanced two key improvements to strengthen the staff report on school closures. The recommendations aim to improve public education in Vancouver by focusing on ¬the quality of education and the importance of neighbourhood schools.

Trustee Jane Bouey called for the report to address strategies to improve neighbourhood school attendance by examining what is contributing to the current uneven enrollment figures between the east and west sides of the city.

“We need to take a hard look at what’s happening in all of our schools to cause such a dramatic difference in enrollment between east and west,” said Bouey. “Demographics, program placement, even discrimination, all need to be looked at as potential causes.”

Trustee Al Blakey pushed for more emphasis on the quality of education as the primary motivation behind decisions on school buildings. “Our first focus must always be on how our decisions impact learning,” said Blakey. He noted that the current policy was unclear on how education quality factored into decisions regarding facilities. “If closing a school negatively impacts the education of our students, nothing else matters, and we should be looking elsewhere.”

The motions will be voted on along with the original recommendations during the December 14th meeting of the Board.

COPE School Board Trustees advance key improvements to school closures report