Criteria for determining school occupancy must be re-examined

January 10, 2008

As the prospect of school closures continue to loom over worried parents, Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver Hastings, is urging Education Minister Shirley Bond to reconsider the formulas used to determine school capacity numbers.

“Schools aren’t only about academic activities – schools are about communities,” said Simpson. “Music rooms, childcare rooms, extra-curricular rooms as well as parenting and community rooms are all essential parts of a school’s educational environment.”

“If the formula we are using to determine the capacity of schools does not include rooms and areas that are used for community activities that enrich the overall educational experience for students, then it's time to re-examine those forumulas.”

Simpson also expressed concern about the piecemeal approach that has been taken in releasing the facilities review findings.

“Parents and communities should be able to look at the plan for school closures as a whole, not just one part of the city at a time,” said Simpson.

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