Saturday, April 29, 2006

Letter To The Editor - April 29, 2006 - From Peter Adamovich - South Carvolth Kids going to Surrey School

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As quoted in the Langley Times of April 28, School Trustee Sonya Paterson characterizes the decision by many parents to enroll their children in a small rural school as a threat. It wasn't a threat, and choosing a school that suits our ideals isn't really "jumping ship" as she believes. The parents and students of South Carvolth told the trustees and administration what we value. The board voted 5 to 2 in favour of not providing that sort of service to our community. The trustees were informed of that intention prior to voting, and they essentially voted those students (and the provincial funding that goes with them) out of the district.

In my case, another issue is distance: Halls Prairie Elementary in Surrey is actually the closest school to my home after South Carvolth closes. While not everyone in a rural community can hope that their children can walk to school, my daughters could have. That option is no longer available, but if I have to choose between sending them down the street or 6 km away, I'll choose down the street even if there happens to be a school district border between here and there. I'm free to send my childrento a school (or district) that I believe shares the values I do.

There doesn't happen to be an appropriate private school in the area, otherwise I may have considered that an option. Would that constitute "jumping ship" as well? The district administration and the trustees seem to think that's a good option for the families that will be moving into the Highpoint development, and not having those potential students in the district didn't seem to be a good enough reason for the board to keep South Carvolth open. That includes Trustee Patterson who voted to close the school.

The school district has decided it does not want to be in the business of running a small school. The parents of the children that enrolled at Halls Prairie have made it clear that is the kind of school they want. While Trustee Patterson may think the parents and students have abandoned the school district, it is a two way street, isn't it?

Peter Adamovich
South Langley

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