Transparent, data-based, equitable decision-making

QEA parents are asking Vancouver Trustees, parents, PACs and DPAC to support a motion calling for no school closure considerations to be advanced for 2 years until transparent, data-based and equitable planning can be achieved.

View the full presentation here

Why wait for transparent, data-based, equitable decision-making?

Several key planning tools are about to come on line in 2022 which will give VSB a rare opportunity: a clear indication of where children live now (Census 2021) and where children are going to live (upcoming major plans, including the Vancouver Plan, Jericho Lands and Broadway Corridor). It’s just good planning practice to wait for this impactful information before making any irreversible decisions, such as school closures.

Please share with your networks / social media! Here is a sample post:

No School Closures, Transparent Planning First!
Calling on all Vancouver PACs! Do you support transparent decision-making?
At the DPAC General meeting on October 28th, Vancouver PACs will be voting on their level of support for a motion to hold off on irreversible decisions that impact students until VSB plans are transparently updated with the latest data on where kids live now (Canada Census 2021) and where kids will live in the future (Vancouver Plan, Broadway Plan, Jericho Lands Policy Statement, etc.). Tell your DPAC rep and PAC Chairs what you think about this PAC-led motion: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1KJVNISfZxJtsxlh5evojWBO8_Jw9TnNZLfXy_1ghOIc/edit?usp=sharing

This is not a motion against all school closures, land sales, or seismic upgrades. This is a motion in support of transparency and data-based, equitable decision-making. Let’s take this time to recover from COVID-19 impacts and plan our future transparently.

The No School Closure motion is always evolving — see the latest version here

Working together, not pitting against each other

QEA faced school closure considerations in 2019, 2016 and 2010. And while there is currently no announcement about school closure considerations, there are 8 schools mentioned in the 2021 Long Range Facilities Plan that could be impacted in the future by “consolidation”, “relocation” or “merger”, and 40 schools that are “unsupported” for seismic upgrade. Rather than scrambling one school at a time — or worse, having schools pitted against each other — our hope is to pull together and collectively ask the VSB to do its homework first before making irreversible decisions that impact children and families.  

In May and June we held several presentations to DPAC, parents and PACs to spread the word and modify the motion to benefit as many schools and students as possible. In June, QEA presented the proposed motion to the Trustee’s Committee of the Whole — with 6 other delegations from schools across Vancouver supporting us!

We’ve spoken directly with around 18 schools, who have differing views on school closures, land sales, and seismic upgrade priorities, but what we have consistently heard from everyone is that if an irreversible decision is going to be made, it must be based on up-to-date and transparent numbers. Schools also don’t want to be pitted against each other any more, and want decisions to be based on transparent planning practices instead.

In the fall we will be campaigning for Trustees to vote in favour of the motion, and we hope to have the support of families, PACs and DPAC!

VSB no longer includes a “Closure list” in the Long Range Facilities Plan,
but several VSB policy documents help paint the picture of future directions.

No irreversible decisions without transparent long-term planning

To illustrate the importance of using the most up-to-date data and planning before making irreversible decisions, we looked into the status of 12 schools which were under closure consideration in 2010. Looking at school capacity utilization by catchment in 2019, we can see that just 9 years after being on the chopping block, 6 of these 12 schools were located in high utilization areas.

How can I support the motion?

1. ​Write a letter – send a letter to Trustees and to DPAC indicating your PAC’s or your personal​ support for the motion, and ask friends / family from other schools across Vancouver to also send a letter in support.

2. Tell your PAC! – DPAC reps and PAC Chairs will be voting on the motion on October 28th, 2021. Tell your PAC about your support, or vote on it at your PAC meeting.

3. Shape the motion – Read through the motion and make comments to tell us how we can improve it.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OF6JLbkcdBp-G-mhlBpjqWOYJxD-vsmsN3a2HNEVZOw/edit?usp=sharing 

Questions? Ideas? Please reach out to us at qea.parents@gmail.com