A proposal that would increase the student population at overcrowded Herbert Spencer has prompted some frustrated Spencer parents to start an online petition.
The proposal would see a second Early French Immersion kindergarten class added this September with 19 of its 22 students coming from outside the Herbert Spencer catchment area.
As the petition preamble states, “the current students of Herbert Spencer Elementary School already have limited and inadequate access to the resources and educational experiences expected from a neighbourhood community school.”
Moreover, three modular classrooms have recently been added to the site which has further reduced the play area available for students.
The sponsors of the petition hope to provide the school district and the board “with a mandate to avoid further over-populating” of Herbert Spencer and to “use the existing facility resources for the benefit of the community and the majority of our students.”
Facility issues are certainly not new to the New Westminster school district, and this one is no exception.
For those who are interested in this issue, the text of the petition is posted below:
Please note that this petition is not intended to be a condemnation of our school district's Program of Choice tracts, but rather the issue of unnecessarily over-populating Herbert Spencer Elementary School.
Premise Behind Petition
This petition is to provide our School District and Board of Trustees with a mandate to avoid further over-populating Herbert Spencer Elementary School and use the existing facility resources for the benefit of the community and the majority of our students.
The New Westminster School District Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to add an additional full class of students to Herbert Spencer Elementary School in September of 2011. This additional "One-Time" 2nd Early French Immersion Kindergarten Class of 22 would consist of 19 students from outside the normal Herbert Spencer Elementary School neighbourhood catchment. Adding 19 more students, who could be supported by the community schools in the neighbourhoods where they live, will adversely affect access and availability to our community school’s facilities and resources for its existing students and our children.
The current students of Herbert Spencer Elementary School already have limited and inadequate access to the resources and educational experiences expected from a neighbourhood community school, as well as those that are actually mandated by the Ministry of Education. Adding more students to the Herbert Spencer Elementary School site unnecessarily, which already has not been constructed or intended to hold even the current population it has (i.e. the modular buildings taking up a large portion of the play area), will further reduce our children's access to the limited resources and learning opportunities.
By signing this petition, I attest that;
I do not support the proposal to further increase the student population at Herbert Spencer Elementary School, due to the establishment of a 2nd Early French Immersion Kindergarten Class from which the majority of students reside outside the normal Herbert Spencer Elementary School neighbourhood catchment. I request that Herbert Spencer Elementary School’s facilities and resources be used to provide the needed and necessary educational and community services that our families require, such as; more uncongested playground space, additional gymnasium and physical recreation space and time, increased computer lab access and availability, restoration of onsite before and after school child care, and a school district that focuses on the needs and best interests of ALL of its students.