Sunday, May 27, 2007

Letter To The Editor - May 27, 2007 - From Mike & Pam Maneval - Re: School Trustees Closing Stafford Sec.

We are strong supporters of Keeping Stafford Secondary. This has been our kids school of choice, regardless of the fact that it is our catchments school. The school has great, involved and caring teachers. The students are nice to each other and individualism is respected. The learning that students receive there is top notch. So why is it, the school being considered for reconfiguration.

First, the board does not believe in standing true to its word. Three years ago, Stafford was told to get its numbers up, or suffer the consequences. Stafford acted by starting a football program that brought in cross boundary and cross district students. A fine arts program was started, and no other school has productions like this school does. The AVID program is proving a success, and is truly helping students. Stafford enrollment numbers have come up. So why is the board not being true to their word, the numbers came up the school should be safe. Why should our students have to pay the price of the boards failure to produce a long term plan?

This brings me to point number two. Peer pressure. We teach our kids to not give in to peer pressure. We have watched teachers, DARE programs, counselors and ourselves teach them to think for themselves. Don't listen to someone else, we tell them. But Allyson McVeigh has given in to peer pressure. She promised her student constituents that if Stafford were ever in risk of being closed or reconfigured she would support them. She gave in to the School Board's peer pressure. Shame on her for not sticking to her promise. Shame on us for believing in her at election time.

This problem is real, something has to be done, but not without more thought and planning. If middle schools are such a great idea as the School District likes to tell us, then why not change the entire district? Let's have some continuity. The board has also talked about Aldergrove becoming a grade 6 to 12 school. How does this make any sense when you put it in the same district as a K-5, 6-8 and 9-12? We need long term planning, not quick fix mess ups.

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