Monday, July 13, 2009

Bluewater update #8

It's been a few days since I've posted anything about the Bluewater District School Board. I'd been holding on to this news story for a few days until things calmed down. The Sun Times published this piece almost a week ago regarding a city council-school board connection.
The expansion of the parking lot at Bayview Public School is postponed until after a memorial tree can be safely moved to a different location. The news came out as the board requested a deferral of the city's consideration of its site plan for the expanded parking lot.
Bayview Student community council member Rhonda Brown said an alternative plan should be adopted so the playground can be saved and the memorial tree kept where it is.
Brown said she and three others have surveyed 37 neighbours of the school and all but four are against the school board’s expansion plan.
She said she hopes the delay will allow her time to gather enough community opposition to change the board’s plan.
“Hopefully, this will give us time to make more people aware of it,” Brown said yesterday. “The board has only worked with one plan . . . and presented no other options.”
Parents are also concerned about Grade 7-8 students using the same playground equipment as kindergarten students, she said. While this will be addressed by the so-called balanced day — which will have different age groups at recess at different times — it will not address before-school playtime, Brown said.
It doesn't surprise me the neighbours of the school are against the idea-- people seem to be very influenced by what they can or can't see from their own property. Skim the decisions of the Ontario Municipal Board and see how many residents participated in appeals due to their "view" being ruined.
I do hope that in their work the members of the school council have also asked parents what they think of the pick-up/drop-off amenities at the school. Oh, and that they asked the neighbours how they feel about traffic and street-access at morning bell and dismissal times. While this hasn't been covered in any of the media coverage of this particular parking lot expansion, I'm sure that a kiss-and-ride and on-street woes contributed to the decisions regarding this lot.

In an aside unrelated to this issue but connected to the board's woes, the BDSB has posted ads to hire a fart catcher (Oh, how I miss Frank Magazine). Take a look at the posting for communications officer here, where you can see what they're looking for. The job is also posted at or some other teaching job site used by boards to sift their applications. The Sun Times published a piece on why Monday.
Given the difficulties this board has been having in communicating internally and externally, it might be a good idea to proceed with this hiring. For the sake of improvement, I hope the director of education and senior admin listen to any advice this person has to give them, rather than this being an empty move.
Guilty admission: I did briefly consider applying for this job-- better pay, better hours, better benefits, gold-plated pension... ah, the life of a civil servant. However, it would require crossing over the dark side, not quite ready for that. Yet.