Solving our issues won't take a reinvention of the wheel. We can learn from the efforts of other nearby districts when addressing short term and long term solutions for overcrowding. We can borrow from out-of-the-box innovation in other municipalities on working together in Neighbourhood Planning. We can push for resources and efficient, easy to understand processes for students with special needs so that they get the supports they need as quickly as possible.
The core causes of overcrowding revolves around both chronic under-funding and provincial policies that do not align with the unique population growth of the lower Fraser Valley. The symptoms of this overcrowding include transportation issues, lack of student resources and space, degradation of learning conditions, disproportionate amount of portables, over-crowded classrooms, and the list goes on. As trustee, my focus will be to work the challenge with both short term and long term goals:
- evaluate and optimize queues and processes for students with special learning needs waiting for support
- re-evaluate bus routes and route efficiency post-reconfiguration, and create new policy that caps allowable bus transfers or route length
- focus on teacher / specialized teacher recruitment to ensure that specialized education is being administered by a professional in that field
- provide input along with the BCSTA and on behalf of SD33 for the current Funding Model Review, specifically addressing our unique population growth and the need for schools to be built using a forecasted enrollment formula
- advocate for the district that 100% of the cost of portables, including movement and maintenance, be provided via capital grants and not taken from the District's operating budget
It is my belief that many of the divisive issues we face today in our district could have been, and still can be ameliorated with communication. Communication fosters understanding and common ground. Communication also fosters respect and a sense of community.
- insist that parents and caregivers are represented on committees that impact their children's education
- insist that in-camera School Board meetings are used only for specific and extraneous circumstances
- insist that district wide surveys accompany any key decisions that directly affect student education
- create a climate where parents and caregivers are respected as one of the largest stakeholders in education, actively participating in shaping our district's administration of education
- create a joint committee with the School Board and City Council specifically for the purpose of collaborating on earmarking land for new schools when forecasting and planning residential developments
Anyone who has visited our schools knows that we have a disproportionate amount of portables. Some schools have more students in portables than they do in their building proper. Lack of funds and lack of approval for capital projects have been an issue for the last many years, but moving forward, land acquisition will become a major challenge as residential development continues to grow.
- ensure new minimum requirements for infrastructure, including wet portables, adequate resource room space and safe parking lots
- provide resources to vastly decrease queue times for facilities-based jobs
- Ensure that the school board and city council work together, in an understanding that education enhances community, by implementing new policies and processes for earmarking land acquisition for school sites in anticipation of future residential growth and development
Want to know more?
Contact me direct for more information about my platform.