CONTRIBUTION · 11th April 2014
Dear Kitimat Trustees,
I have been retired for some time now and have moved on to other concerns in life, but today I heard that School District #82 has plans to close Kitimat City High School and move the students and program to Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School, and had to respond. The first round of budget cuts to education occurred the year my son entered school; he is now 37 years old and we are still seeing attacks on education. Class sizes have consistently risen, teachers real incomes have been in steady decline, contracts illegally stripped, services have been continuously diminished and the real victims of this mess are the students at all ranges of achievement. The range of Special Education programs available to students is deplorable and I wonder how many parents are aware that gifted programs are part of Special Education? Gifted education programs have declined in the past decade because of budget cuts, but gifted students are not just smart kids, they are students who flourish with a different style of instruction, just like the kids at KCH.
Over the years I have hoped that just one Board of Trustees would take the lead and initiate a vociferous campaign against a government that is clearly antagonistic toward teachers and public education, but I have been perennially disappointed. And, rest assured, students have suffered from your acquiescence. Now, you want to move an alternate school into the very arena in which the students suffered difficulty and under an administrative structure that obviously did not work for these students in the first place. It is insane and plain mean. These students need a different structure that is impossible to inculcate within a traditional school. You cannot just stick them in one wing of the high school and somehow expect something to be different for them. These students are valuable people who just happen to need something different than the traditional school structure and when they have it they can find success and a positive future. No matter how you plan to structure schedules you will not be able to provide the environment essential to the needs of an alternate school. You are abandoning these students.
Doug Thomson, BEd., MEd.
Comment by Pam Vollrath on 18th April 2014
I agree with you Doug. This action by our School District is, on many levels, wrong! KCH used to be one of the top 3 alternate schools in BC. Many students have benefitted from the programme as it is supposed to exist. The last few years have been very difficult as more and more resources have been stripped from the programme. I think there should be a public outcry about this on behalf of our most vulnerable students, many of whom will quit school if forced to return to MEMSS. Who will advocate for these students if we don't? Sadly, this is a small school and I doubt if enough people will stand up and defend this programme. I hope I'm wrong.....
Comment by Elaine Drinkwater on 12th April 2014
Well stated Doug. Let us start placing a legacy for our future generations. A good, sound education is an absolute must.
Comment by Susie Abreu on 11th April 2014
Well said Doug!
Comment by Ralph Bartel on 11th April 2014
Well written Doug. How about you becoming a trustee? Sounds like we could use something other than sheep on the board.
A Very Good Description of the system as it exists today
Comment by Larry Walker on 11th April 2014
You have written a very interesting article of the system as it exists today. I do not have a solution but understand the need to expedite the debate and decision making process so these young adults can flourish in the future. We are our brothers keeper and must therefore find a solution. Good Luck.