The oft-repeated comments from trustees and other school officials from the Upper Canada District School Board to parents is, follow the ARC process. It is repeated in nearly every release or boilerplate response by email, phone or in public.
Talking to ARC members after the orientation meetings at Tagwi Secondary School, it may be that school board administration and trustees are ill-prepared themselves.
Board officials appeared unable to answer many of the questions asked by ARC parent members.
As the process was explained in trustee Jeremy Armer’s interview this week in The Leader office, the ARC committee is comprised of parent representatives and chaired by the district superintendent. The trustees can sit as ad-hoc observers in ARC meetings, but do not have a say in that part of the process.
When students, parents and members of the community have tried sending their comments in via the board’s “preferred” avenues of contact, they get “form letter” responses back. Contact the trustees about this and you are retold to send through the “preferred” avenues.
Given that this is a 188-page report, the board should have all of the numbers available. One glaring omission was how the students at Seaway would be split between North Dundas and South Grenville. This is a critical number for South Dundas.
The problem in this whole process is all the communities inside the UCDSB board have been forced to embark in a procedure that was initiated by administration, approved by trustees, and used a report with incomplete information.
It is easy to see how people in the affected communities might be frustrated in the process; the hair-pulling in The Leader office has been frequent as well.
During the process we are frequently reminded that kids are resilient, good thing for that.