Regina Public Schools: Renewal or Bad Research?

The Regina Mom is sick and should be in bed but she knows she won’t be able to rest until she takes care of business.

The Regina Board of Education (RBE) has developed what they call a 10 year renewal plan for the school division. [Just a quick note regarding that link; the direct link to the renewal activities is not available — maybe it’s just my foggy mind, but if anyone call pull it for me, I’d appreciate it]

The plan is to close inner city schools and to bus kinds to bigger schools. And, though their research shows the importance of small neighbourhood schools, their plan does not acknowledge the importance of small neighbourhood schools.

realrenewal.org logoRealRenewal.org is an organization whose members have come together because its members are “concerned about the future of public education in Regina.” They want the RBE to conduct a “full and fair evaluation of all alternatives.” They say that “school closure is a choice, based on a management theory that says ‘bigger is better’ at any cost.”

Their website is thorough. And they include a vast array of questions they have put before the RBE, questions the RBE really must answer before closing any schools.

And note the contact page if you want to be informed of their activities.

That’s all for now. The Regina Mom needs ginger tea and sleep.

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6 Comments

  1. Richard_Cranium

     /  January 16, 2008

    Unfortunately economics is a major factor in closing low enrollment schools, or combining smaller into bigger. I am sure if the school board said they could keep every school open, but there would be a 30 percent tax increase that would not go over either. It is easy to holler that you want a service or product kept the way it is, if there is no cost involved. If there was then you would see a different discussion.

    Reply
  2. Timebandit

     /  January 18, 2008

    Actually, I was at a “renewal” meeting last night, and the reps from the school board claim that the plan is based on “quality program delivery”, NOT financial concerns. They’ve picked a magic number — minimum 200 students. They want to close Herchmer School in June — they have 190 students, give or take. Certainly in the ballpark.

    And they were 80 students out on the projection for this years’ registration at my daughters’ school. That’s a 40% discrepancy, well outside an acceptable statistical deviation. The numbers are wrong.

    There’s more to this than meets the eye, but money is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Oh, yes, and capital expenses — they have not investigated other sources of funding for fixing some of the buildings that have been neglected, which would be the most major cost in the proposed plan.

    Sorry, the research is terribly flawed, and the plan does not take into account many of the social impacts that have indirect economic effects.

    Reply
  3. Chris McDougall

     /  January 25, 2008

    I don’t really have a strong opinion on the school closures, but I’d like to use this opportunity to share a few hear-say pieces of info.
    1. A friend of mine advised that a kindergarten teacher at Thompson School in Regina’s core area gets an extra annual budget of $150 for school supplies and outings (ouch… $150 for a whole year?).
    2. Another friend of mine who is involved with the United Way told me that the United Way estimates about 1,000 kids in Regina’s inner city are not attending school and Regina’s system does not officially recognize this because these kids, for various reasons, are moving almost every month. Thus, there is no school specifically noticing they’re not in class and there is no official statistic that recognizes this issue.

    Both of my above points are hear-say, so please take them with a grain of salt (although I find the 2nd one to be very believable; most people who have done any long-term volunteer work in Regina’s inner city would agree). My reason for stating the above 2 points is not to debate the school closure issue, but to encourage readers who have some extra time in their week to get involved in some inner city programs targeted at helping kids. Hey, if you’ve been thinkin’ about it, or if what’s going on in “the hood” has been bothering you enough to consider trying to offer some help, opportunity’s a-waitin’. These kids need people to stand in the gap for them. Maybe that’s you…

    Cheers,

    Reply
  4. I, myself personally feel that adding one program to our school be it arts or French immersion or continuing the Cree program for our elementary feeder schools would definitely move our enrollment to the perfect delivery models, unfortunately we have just suffered a slow dismantling of our school. There was no warning that according to the school board that our numbers were not in their delivery models, they just want to close us- déjà vu 2005. If you actually delve into the 10 Year Renewal Plan and take out the school closures, there is no definite improvement in any education of our children just relocating numbers. We are not adding teachers if we move the Usher kids, we are not adding more kids, we are not adding more programs we are just moving them. One of the Board’s Priorities for planning was ensuring increased awareness and understanding of First Nations and Metis cultures supporting equitable opportunties and outcomes for students of First Nations and Metis ancestry, this confuses me because we do have this populace in our school, how can you improve their education by relocating their school to unattainable locations. Definite action needs to be done regarding the power of our School Board across Saskatchewan-The Ministry of Ontario Guidelines would be a good place to start. Thank you. Cindy Anderson Chair for Committee of Community Renewal.

    Reply
  1. Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy » Blog Archive » Holy crap! Has Regina lost all of its children?

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