LETTER: Concerns about Mission-west students

Those children - now our middle school children - are still relevant

An open letter to the school district board of trustees:

As indicated in Stats Can census and Community Mapping Studies, many Mission-west children are of single parent and low-income homes. As such, many parents were working or otherwise unable to attend the hearing when vital decisions regarding their childrens’ futures were made.

Our concerns follow:

Safety – The three west-side neighbourhoods are home to 40 per cent of all young children in Mission. For those who are not mobile, five kilometres is an unsafe distance for young children to walk. This is especially true in the dark, wet or snowy winter months, along busy, un-supported intersections, or dimly lit streets.

Education – Averaging a 29 per cent non-graduation rate, Mission-west children will suffer further from increased commuting times that steal from from study time and educational engagement.

Socially, the time Mission-west children can spend with their families or participating in extracurricular activities will be irretrievably lost. The majority of the (social risk)challenges in Mission are located in the downtown, West Heights and Upper West Heights neighbourhoods.

Finances – The burden of school bus fees or transit will be unattainable for many. What will be the cost of a long-term transportation system for our children vs the retrofitting of a school you want plan to demolish, and what will be parents’ personal costs?

What will be the long-term cost of implementing and sustaining a safety-guard program?

Calculate the cost of extended access to before and after school care for parents. This is a concern for both middle school children and the younger siblings they may be currently chaperoning.

What will Mission’s final bill be for the building (Heritage-erected in 2008) that houses an already deficit-laden theatre, and the university that relies in part on it as a feeder school?

(1)www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/fogs-spg/Facts-csd-eng.cfm?LANG=Eng&GK=CSD&GC=5909056

(2) www.missionecdcom.shawbiz.ca/Provincial%20EDI%20Mapping%20Project.pdf

As reflected in the Stats Can census, the statistics from the EDI mapping study have experienced negligible change. Those children -now our middle school children – are still relevant.

Please reconsider – more parents may pull out of the public system!

 

Michelle Ledenko

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