Thursday, 8 May 2014

On Thursday, May 08, 2014 by PWSParents
Community complaints Overview
Community Complaints # 1
Community Complaints # 2
Community Complaints # 3 & 4
Community Complaints # 5, 6 & 7
Community Complaints 8 & 9

10. Interference with elected Board members

Community complaints include interference with elected Board members:
Initiating the boundary review process rather than a school closure process without disclosing the reason not to pursue a closure was to avoid a community backlash;
Providing erroneous information to Board members;
Withholding relevant information from Board members;
Representing to Board members that staff met with community members on January 27th “to develop an understanding of the issues”;
Recommending to Board members that they not communicate with parents until after the committee has put forth its recommendation;
Advising Board members that speaking with parents could disentitle participation in board debate and vote;
Advising Board members to refer community requests for meetings with Board members to the Superintendent;
Recommending Board members deny a parent request to speak at the February Board meeting;
Recommending Board members limit parents’ time to speak at the elected Board meeting to 5 minutes;
Acknowledging there is no intention to correct erroneous information (provided in the process, including to Board members).

11. Interference with volunteer committee members

Community complaints include interference with volunteer committee members:
Directing committee members to recommend a change (without regard or evaluation of the best possible learning environment for children living in the community);
Directing committee members that they are not permitted to submit or consider a scenario recommending that staff recognize the school catchment area;
Advising committee members that they have authority to close the junior high portion of a school and send students to another community (without regard to the mandate set out in their Terms of Reference and as explained in their Information Pamphlet);
Directing and controlling committee meetings, including topics, scenarios, resources, materials, discussions, recommendations and community communication;
Precluding committee members from meeting separately as a committee;
Failing or refusing to provide information and documentation to the committee as required by policy or requested by committee members;
Failing to advise committee members of available information and documentation;
Failing to present information to committee members in a fair manner;
Failing to correct erroneous information presented and/or discussed;
Directing and controlling information to be provided by committee members to their school communities;
Directing committee members not to disclose committee discussions with their respective school communities prior to subsequently disclosed Minutes – with the exception of three key messages determined by HRSB staff;
Directing committee members not to disclose committee discussions with their respective school communities after disclosure of Minutes – with the exception of the contents of the Minutes;
Selecting and submitting four scenarios to the committee members on February 10;
Failing to submit to the committee members the scenario suggested by many parents to keep Park West as it is. (It was added at the insistence of a committee member on March 3);
Failing to submit to committee members other scenarios suggested by parents;
Failing to advise committee members to report staff interference.
[5] Source: Superintendent’s Report to the Halifax Regional School Board, January 2014. The January 27th meeting was a 35 minute presentation. There was no opportunity for meaningful community input.