I’ve been all over the city, visiting with parents, students, teachers, support staff, and folk not directly connected to schools. What I keep hearing is that there is not enough support for students. There is a really high frustration level. Someone compared our schools to an elastic band – we keep stretching and are able to meet the needs of most students – but how much further can it be stretched? In particular students for whom english is an additional language (ESL), special needs students, and aboriginal students are facing the biggest barriers. I think you could make a strong case that the elastic band no longer stretches to meet their learning needs. (Aboriginal students may never truly have had their needs met. ESL and special needs were receiving a lot more support in the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s.)
It’s clear to me that now, perhaps more than ever, we need to bring communities together and collectively work on strategies to ensure that our students learning needs are being met. Some aboriginal parents and allies have spoken to me about maybe getting together after the election. I have committed to helping organize such a meeting – whether or not I am elected.
Every day I become more and more convinced of why I chose to run for school board. We need trustees who will work with the community, and stand up for all of our children and youth. With this team of COPE and Vision candidates – we have nine who will do just that.
Good night for now…