April 20th, 2017
A number of months ago we asked the Halton District School Board trustees to rank the values they would bring to the decision they will have to make on June 7thy – do they vote to close any of the high schools in Burlington – Nelson, Bateman, Pearson and Central have been named for possible closure in June of 2018
Not closing any of the high schools was also listed as an option and came out as the preferred option for the majority of the members of the Program Accommodation Review.
The Gazette wanted to let its readers know what values the trustees would bring to the table.
Our first request to the trustees didn’t result in very much other than Board Chair Kelly Amos saying the trustees did not want to attempt to influence that PARC in any way. Fair enough – but the PARC has now been dissolved. We again asked: Could the people who elected the trustees know where those trustees stand on the following:
One isn’t better than another – the intention was to get some understanding as to what the values were of each trustee so that when people delegate they can put forward arguments that would resonate with the trustees.
This time, to date, there was a response from Ward 5 school board trustee Amy Collard. She said:
You have requested that trustees determine a ranking for our decision-making priorities for the PAR. For me, this is a bit like asking us to determine if the mind, the heart or the soul are the most important parts of a person. All of these parts are necessary, and if one part is lacking the person does not function well. In addition, there are many other parts that may not be considered vital, but that increase a person’s quality of life.
I will be looking for a solution that provides all of the students in Burlington with equitable access to the programming that they need to be successful in their chosen pathway, while honouring their ties to their communities and being mindful that we must be fiscally responsible.
As you know, this is a difficult proposition. I will be listening to the students and their families, as well as reviewing all of the data that has been compiled, and trying to find a way to balance all of the perspectives. I remain hopeful that the Director will present a recommendation that trustees – and the Burlington community – will be able to support.
As a safe political statement it doesn’t get much better than that.
Collard is said to have political aspirations and an interest in taking a run for the ward 5 seat on city council. With comments like this she will be a welcome replacement for the blunt, brusque statements current council member for the ward Paul Sharman makes.
Director of Education Stuart Miller will release his recommendation to the trustees on Friday at 6:00 pm. The Gazette will analyze the report and look for feedback from key people in each school’s parent group and report to our readers.