Councillor defends role in school review
RE: Province not excused from school closures, May 5
Your editorial raises concerns about my role as a parent volunteer on the Halton District School Board’s Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC), while also serving as a city councillor in my day job.
Hopefully, the following information about the PARC will set your concerns, and any in the community, at ease.
The PARC was made up of 14 parents, two from each of the seven Burlington high schools under review, as well as a municipal councillor (or delegate). I was selected by the parent council of Burlington Central High School, where my son attends.
Our role as parents on the PARC was to consider the best interests of students across the city. We were to bring the knowledge of our specific school communities to the larger conversation of coming up with options for the benefit of all students to deal with programming challenges and low enrolment — two reasons the school review began.
Ultimately, the PARC forwarded five options for the HDSB director of education’s consideration, including closing Burlington Central High School and Lester B. Pearson High School, closing Robert Bateman High School, closing Bateman and Pearson, closing Nelson High School, and no schools close. The director chose a modified version of one of these five to recommend to trustees for a vote on June 7: closing Bateman and Pearson.
The PARC was divided on the options, as is each of the school communities in Burlington.
As a parent you can choose to get involved and stand for what you think is the right thing to do for the long term for our community. I made the same decision to get involved as did all other parent representatives who joined the PARC. Marianne Meed Ward, Burlington