Saturday, April 29, 2006

Letter To The Editor - April 29, 2006 - From Peter Adamovich - Re: School Closure Procedures Review

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I'm very glad the school district will review their closure procedures. The current process fails to inform all parties of the ultimate goals of closure.

During the South Carvolth review process, district administration informed trustees and parents that the reasons were not financial, which is good because closing the school would have recovered less than 1% of the district's overall budget, even if all the students had stayed in the district. Since more than half of South Carvolth'sstudents are enrolled in Surrey schools, the District is not even saving that 1%.

The administration cited declining enrollment, and prior to the review South Carvolth actually had 3 more students enrolled for September than were graduating and moving on to High School. Under-utilization was also mentioned, but the school that was closed had 77% utilization where other schools in the district are currently around 60% and are projected to have even more empty desks in the future.

The District's policy states they can review any school when there is room in the surrounding schools for the students that would be displaced. Any other considerations are secondary, although there are eight clear points listed. Only one of those 8 is measurable. Any change in the process that would make it clearer to all parties involved what the benefits and drawbacks of closing a school will be an improvement.

I do hope any future process also includes some sort of requirement to adhere to the process itself, however. The current process states that alternatives to closure must be presented, and in the case of the South Carvolth review the total number of alternatives presented was zero. None. The fact that the vote actually took place when the districts own guidelines were not being followed should concern all of us,not just those directly affected.

Peter Adamovich
South Langley

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