Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Susan Semonick On Schools - Report on the Langley DPAC Survey

The results for the two Langley DPAC surveys regarding the South/Central consultations have been posted on their site. Unfortunately, without making the comments portion of the survey public, the results are difficult to understand and do not provide any clear insight. The rationale for not providing the comments apparently is ......

"The personal comments from parents will not be publicly available due to the small number of responses from some schools – these were not PAC opinion comments from our members – they were parents’ personal thoughts on this issue and were sent as such only where we said they would go."

I say - most people expect survey results to be publicized and certainly names and schools could be masked. The small number of responses from some schools are still responses from concerned parties of the Langley School District and as such why should it matter where their children attend school - after all, we have been consistently told that this is a district issue and affects all students. Langley DPAC should be releasing those comments along with the figures so that the survey results can make sense. The results belong to the PACs and parents - not to the trustees. Otherwise, why do the survey and pay for it, unless DPAC has suddenly become a tool of the school district rather than its membership? It looks like DPAC is taking a page out of the school district's playbook regarding the sharing of certain information. I wonder how parents and PACs feel. I would trust that people would be able to discriminate between good and bad data. Haven't they done this so far with all the information provided to them by the district? Why is DPAC giving Trustees "special information" and not to the public or their membership? Shouldn't we all have the same info to base our responses on?

As for the results, there were 359 who responded to the middle school survey and only 62 to the Options survey. Understandably a significant proportion of the respondents (over 80%) were from the South/Central area. There is little else I can add without the additional information that DPAC is apparently unwilling to communicate to the public.

There were only 8 participants from LSS, on the first survey and only 3 participants from LSS on the second survey.
Sadly on the second survey there was 6 people who felt that to do nothing is an option.
On the second survey there were only 4 people that wanted the middle school to go ahead as proposed.

There were 46.8 percent of the people wanted different options. Unfortunately another irrelevant fact without the related comments.

If I had to sum up this report on the results as posted I would have to say "IRRELAVANT".

There were only four people out of 62 respondents to the DPAC's Options survey chose the current middle school proposal. Either the survey was poorly advertised to the parents or the so-called silent majority have left it up to the parents whose children will be directly involved in the collateral damage to decide for them.

With the recent announcement of changes to the funding formula for part-time students in the province, I would hazard a guess that this will be about anywhere from an $800,000 to over $1,000,000 impact to our district's budget.

So, in order to make that up, the SDBC could be dissolved and all contributions to the School District Foundation from the ISP program could be ended and the district could stop supplying an employee at $47,000 a year plus expenses. The next thing that will be coming up is that the school district will be expected to supply adult education at no cost starting in September 2008. Hopefully, the government supplements for these students will come in before any more schools have to close. I would think the trustees have been left with no other option but to VOTE NO to the expense that the Middle school concept will cost the district. The savings from school closures will have to be used along with many other things to make up this shortfall rather than go into an expensive experiment like the proposed middle school program, which has no definite costs reported.

Report on the Langley DPAC Survey, Respectfully submitted by Susan Semonick

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