Opinion

Bottom line — schools will be closed

Editor: To the parents and guardians of Aldergrove children:

Why weren’t you at the Langley Board of Education meeting last Tuesday night (Nov. 20)? Now it’s your turn to have a middle school thrust upon you — even though we have all heard loud and clear that Aldergrove doesn’t want one. 

I attended the middle school forum on Oct. 11 in Aldergrove, and the parents there were all very clear in their message to the school district — “no, we don’t want one.” 

The parents vehemently opposed a middle school to be housed within Aldergrove Community Secondary.  The parents said, “let’s leave things alone. We are a community still reeling from the closure of Aldergrove Elementary.  What’s the rush?” 

The parents said, “if there really is educational benefit from a middle school configuration  then we might agree to it — but only if it is a standalone middle school, and you will have to prove it is better educationally for the students.  If you must shove one down our throats, if we do not have a choice, then at least keep it out of ACSS. Keep my 11-year-old away from the 17-year-olds and put the middle school in a separate building.”  

After this meeting, the school district (specifically the superintendent)  decided to twist your words and use them against you.  At the school board meeting Tuesday night, it was reported that the Aldergrove parents want a middle school and they are all in favour of the proposal. 

In a recent letter written by Superintendent Cheryle Beaumont, attached to a school newsletter,  she states “There is interest in the Aldergrove community for middle years programming.” 

Interest? When you are backed into a corner and forced to choose this “plan” or that one (because we are not leaving you alone), maybe some people would say, well you chose this. By the way, four trustees voted to accept a proposal which will leave the Aldergrove area with only two  K-5 schools, one middle school (Grades 6-8) and one secondary school (Grades 9-12).  There are no costs given for this plan either.  

   When this whole exercise started one year ago, it was supposedly to address declining enrollment in Aldergrove Secondary School and to save programs there.  I fail to see how it is going to help ACSS keep those vulnerable secondary programs when the Grade 8s are removed from the school. Isn’t that lowering the enrolment even more? 

 The whole so-called “consultation” process has been flawed from the start. This nonsense be stopped. Stand up for your rights, no matter what the staff of your school or the school district is telling you.

This is all about closing schools and creating utter chaos.  There is no educational benefit to these changes.  Do your own research on middle schools and find out the truth.  Question everything. 

Fiona Miller,

Langley

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