On June 20, 2016, VSB senior management staff announced a preliminary list of schools that could be considered for closure and notifications to potentially affected schools have been sent to school principals and PAC chairs. Britannia is on that list.
How can you help?
If you want to help save Britannia, there are a number of things that you can do.
Sign the Petition
Chloe Gray has started a petition to save Britannia Secondary School. You can sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/the-community-saving-britannia-secondary-school
Before you do, however, you should read the following from Mike Lombardi, a Britannia Alumni and chairman of the Vancouver Board of School Trustees
Familiarize yourself with the Issues
The committee to save Britannia have put together a press kit so that you can familiarize yourself with the issues.
Attend a Meeting
There is a Trustee Public Meeting on Sept 15 at 5:00 pm aat Charles Tupper High School. Trustees have a number of previously submitted questions.
We are trying to fill the place with “Don’t Quit on Brit” supporters! See you there. Wear Brit colours!!!!
Prior to making any decisions trustees will review a detailed report on each school presented by staff in September 2016. Once this has occurred, trustees will then make a decision about whether any schools from the preliminary list should be considered for closure. If so, the VSB will then conduct significant communication and public consultations with affected school communities in October and November 2016. Following a report on the consultation and staff information, trustees will decide about school closures at a public VSB meeting in December 2016.
Information about these consultations will be widely publicized, but if you would like to receive information directly you are invited to fill in a contact form here.
Additionally, the VSB continues to advocate for the elimination of the arbitrary Ministry of Education-imposed 95%. District-wide capacity utilization formula that is the ministry required foundation for the VSB Long Term Facilities Plan.
Contact your political representatives
The VSB also continues to advocate for adequate and stable funding to address our $21.8million 2016-17 budget shortfall resulting from years of chronic underfunding and downloading of costs from the provincial government.
You are encouraged to support the VSB in its advocacy efforts to secure additional funding and to eliminate the arbitrary 95% capacity utilization target.
Please communicate with the Premier, Minister of Education, and your MLA about these matters. I would also encourage you copy VSB trustees on your messages.
-Contact information for the Premier, Minister of Education, and Vancouver-area MLAs:
Contact information for Vancouver-Area MLAs:
Contact information for VSB trustees:
East Van Education Network (EVEN)
Also, here is great information from the East Van Education Network (EVEN).
6 points, or key themes from the presentation
- All projections show that the effected neighbourhoods are growing, due to developments of condos, townhomes, etc. closing schools is short sighted.
- The way capacity is being calculated at schools is wrong and misleading. Spaces are NOT empty.
- Neighbourhood schools are the hubs and hearts of communities – closes them hurts communities. Every bit of research shows the importance of neighbourhood schools and the relationships that form there.
- Each school offers special programs and supports that have ben developed over years and cannot simply be moved to other schools. Without the teachers and staff that run those programs, the programs die and this is a loss to everyone.
- Vancouver taxpayers pay enough to keep their schools open – and have invested significantly in their neighbourhood schools above and beyond taxes (fundraising, etc). There is a gap between what we pay and what we get back.
- In many cases, student are bing moved from risky schools to riskier schools which puts our students at more risk.
A timeline for those wanting to be more active and take part in:
September 6 (1st day of school) Information flyers distributed to parents at elementary and also to Brit students at High School.
September 9 – 10:00 am MEDIA EVENT at Britannia Carving Pavilion.
September 15 – 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Town Hall style meeting at Astorino’s. We hope to fill the place with Brit families, Brit alumni, students, etc.