Coun­cil­lor de­fends role in school re­view

RE: Prov­ince not ex­cused from school clo­sures, May 5

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

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

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