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Victory school

Tribune photo

“Whether on foot or by bus, parents are mostly concerned by the seeming growing trend towards removing children from smaller neighbourhood schools in favour of ‘right-sized’ solutions that appear to consider numbers over values,” a release said.

It’s down to the wire for Victory school community

Parents at Victory school are asking other Guelph parents to support their fight against school boundary changes affecting Victory that have been proposed by the public school board.
The Upper Grand District School Board has set Nov. 30 as the deadline for public input on the proposed changes, and the board plans to make a final decision on Dec. 18. The board’s proposals would affect French immersion students at the junior kindergarten to Grade 6 school – a dual-track school with both FI students and students in the regular English track.
With a growing city and a strong interest from parents in French immersion, school boundary reviews are a reality across the city, the Victory Parents Group said in a news release Friday.
Victory families aren’t asking for special treatment, but rather are asking that the school board do what it can to avoid this sort of disruption of Guelph schools now and in the future, the release said.
“Tweaking at the margins, filling here and cutting there is destabilizing our communities,” Victory parent Marty Williams said in the release. He urged the school board to “find a better way of addressing the enrolment issues” that it’s facing.
Victory is caught up in a boundary review for the rebuilt King George school, which opened this fall. The review is determining what King George’s boundaries will be in September 2014, when it becomes a JK-8 French immersion centre.
The preferred scenario of staff at the Upper Grand District School Board would see all of Victory’s Grade 4 to 6 French immersion students moved to King George in 2014. An alternative scenario from board staff would shrink Victory’s French immersion attendance area for all of its junior kindergarten to Grade 6 French immersion students, with all FI students north of Division Street sent to King George.
In either scenario, a significant number of FI students at Victory would be displaced and would face a long walk out of their neighbourhoods to attend King George, the parents’ news release said. “Currently, the question of safe transportation of these students by school bus has not been confirmed by the board,” it said.
“Whether on foot or by bus, parents are mostly concerned by the seeming growing trend towards removing children from smaller neighbourhood schools in favour of ‘right-sized’ solutions that appear to consider numbers over values,” the release said. “A campaign has been initiated to bring forward suggestions that emphasize long-term sustainable planning, both in this review and beyond.”
Red “V”s have been placed in the windows of many homes and businesses in the Victory area. “It’s our way of raising awareness of the value of a community school,” Justine Dainard, a member of the parent group, said in the release. “These frequent boundary reviews create too much disruption, and we need longer-term solutions.”
People who want to learn more about this and other boundary reviews and “have your voice heard on this important issue” can visit www.ugdsb.on.ca and click on “Planning,” the release said.

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