November 23rd, 2010 – Comments to Board about Sibling Priority Inclusion in Policy, Jacqueline Dockray, École College Heights Elementary Parent
I would like to speak about the proposed changes to policy 5119 that are presently available to parents and the community for input.
First and foremost, the proposed changes have been published without a background or a rationale. This means that many people will be unable to understand the grounds for the changes or indeed the context under which the proposed wording has been developed.
Secondly, the proposed policy does not include definitions for important words that are crucial to its correct interpretation. For example, the word “entitled” seems to mean something different to the Board and District than the definition given in the dictionary.
Unfortunately, only those who are present at the Board Meetings for the discussion around the policy or who read the minutes (that are, by necessity, much less detailed) will get any context for what is proposed. This is a major frustration and shortcoming in this important process and needs to be addressed for future policy discussions. I’ll put my full thoughts to the Board and District in writing; I appreciate the opportunity and encourage all families to do the same. I do want to urge people, however, to ask for clarification on anything they do not understand, and perhaps the Board can give some of that clarification at the December 7th meeting.
At this point, I would like to focus on an issue that I feel, and many of us feel, is crucial to the well-being and success of our children in our schools, and that is the issue about which our sub-committee met with you on April 28th of this year – the lack of policy around siblings when registering in kindergarten.
I would like to draw your minds back to the 60-day consultation period around the proposed school closures and reorganizations that we all suffered through at the beginning of the year and the many heartfelt presentations you listened to during that process. I do not recall one person who stood up at those meetings who did not talk about the importance of families and communities in their passionate discourse about their local school. Continue reading “Comments to Board about Sibling Priority Inclusion in Policy – Jacqueline Dockray”