Friday, October 23, 2015

GO PANTHERS GO!

After ten years as chair/co-chair of the Virginia Park Elementary School Council, I have stepped down as chair.

My boys have all passed through the hallowed halls of VPE. I had hoped that at least one of them might see the new school.  Aidan and Conor received a great education from an incredibly supportive and engaged staff who take the individual progress of every student seriously. VPE is a hidden gem in my humble opinion.

I'll continue to sit as a community representative and as chair of the school construction committee. That means keeping an ear to the ground and not easing up on the province to get into our new school by January of 2017, not the fall as announced.

Besides lobbying for a new school, I am proud to see how our multi-year school development plans have borne fruit. This years assessment data proves that all of the strategic investments in literacy, reading and technology have really paid dividends.  

Schools are more than just brick and mortar (or in our case 40 year old aluminum portables). 

Our school is the heart of a thriving community.

The 15 year quest to have the school catchment zone realigned to reflect the new developments along Logy Bay road will continue as well. Hey taxpayers, how does government justify permitting the board to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars busing kids past this school to an overcrowded primary elementary further down the road? How does the board justify spending nearly a million dollars to build four new class rooms at the same school which is already servicing nearly 800 children?  An honest answer would confront you with the ugly reality of social discrimination.

I was delighted to see some new faces at the first meeting of the year. We have a lot of work to do in preparation for the new school - if construction ever gets back on track.

On that note, apparently the folks from Newfoundland Power were up to the site the other day reviewing the infrastructure needed for a temporary electrical hook-up. The final tender can not be that far away. 

The council had agreed last year to seek permission from the school board to rename the school. The process will involve a public meeting, a contest for students and finally we will recommend three names to the board. They will have the final say.

Kudos to Principal Drover who has returned for a third year! He unveiled a new mascot and a brand new website for the school. Who says teachers take the summer off?

On another note, if you are a member of a community group that wishes to volunteer for a worthy cause might I suggest considering the breakfast program at VPE. We are always on the lookout for more helpers. We would welcome donations of food or cash for the program.

As well, if your organization is looking to donate - we would gladly accept donations to help our kids participate in field trips, purchase books for our increasingly modernized library, for technology and for musical instruments.

Speaking of volunteers, I took the minutes for the first council meeting. I had better get them typed and submitted.

 Go Panthers Go!


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