Maintain the sibling priority policy for registration
  • Petitioned Nanaimo Ladysmith School District 68, British Columbia

This petition was delivered to:

Nanaimo Ladysmith School District 68, British Columbia

Maintain the sibling priority policy for registration

    1. Caoimhe Kehler
    2. Petition by

      Caoimhe Kehler

      Nanaimo, Canada

Currently the District has a registration policy that gives priority to siblings of students already enrolled in the French Immersion school. This means that the entire family can embrace French and support the children learning the language out of school hours. It also means that young siblings have the opportunity to bond and see each other during the school day. Many kids also attend before and after school care so if they are at separate locations the will not see each other at all during the week.
This is not just an issue for French immersion students as the District currently has the same policy for younger siblings of students in English schools. A catchment school is not always the ideal choice for families and there are many kids who do not attend their catchment school. In other cases, the family has moved since enrolling the oldest child and the younger siblings will need space at the same school.
The Sibling Priority policy is critical to the well being of students and families. The majority of Nanaimo and Ladysmith families work outside of the home and even for stay-at-home parents, it is not possible to pick-up and drop-off young kids to two different schools. The bell rings at almost the same time in schools across the District. Forcing children to go to different schools puts parents in an impossible situation.
Removing the sibling priority is being suggested as a way to reduce the waitlists for French Immersion which makes no sense, as the siblings still require the spaces. The only thing that will reduce the waitlist is meeting the demand for French Immersion spaces.
Please support our petition to keep our children together and to allow our older children to remain in the school that they are settled in and love. Moving children from French immersion to English in Grades 2 to 4 will lead to increased pressure on catchment schools' already stretched resources. Older children forced to move because of the logistical challenges parents face will feel isolated and likely have trouble adapting to an entirely new school setting and learning environment.
The District has other solutions and changing the rules now, with so little time for families to adapt (registration is in a few short months!) will create a significant hardship for families and lead to ongoing attrition and students leaving the French program as their younger siblings reach kindergarten age.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Sibling priority maintained!

      Caoimhe Kehler
      Petition Organizer

      Hello everyone - I was at the District meeting tonight and the sibling priority will be maintained for registration. New families will be awarded spaces by a lottery. Details are going to be worked out, but it looks like we will all register centrally and siblings get first space in their sibling's school, then new families indicate their preference for schools. I commend staff for choosing the best decision given the fiscal realities and challenges of providing enough space to meet demand. It was discussed that the long term goal is to try and add more spaces so any child wanting French immersion can access it. More details will be posted on the District's website. A big thank you to everyone who got involved, signed this petition, sent letters and attending meetings. It made a difference and staff mentioned the influence parent input had on the outcome. I personally am so thrilled that my children will be together during the school day and we can continue our commitment to our school

    2. Update

      Caoimhe Kehler
      Petition Organizer

      hello everyone. I heard from Jamie Brennan, Chair of the Board, that a decision on this issue has been made, even though many of us were told there would be more consultation. Also, the decision was made by senior staff and not Trustees, which is not what we were told originally. According to Jamie, staff will announce the decision to the Board in camera (in private) on Wednesday at their meeting and we should hear shortly thereafter. We don't know what the decision is yet, so I am trying to remain optimistic it will be favorable for our families. As soon as I hear I will post the news here. Apparently there is a process to appeal decisions to the Trustees, but hopefully common sense will prevail! Thanks to everyone who signed this petition, we had almost 150 signatures in 3 days so this shows how important this issue is.

    3. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jim Chutka NANAIMO, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      Siblings should stay together during their school years for all the obvious and wondrous reasons. It’s better for everybody involved. That’s all.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kari Warner NANAIMO, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      My children are close and want to be in the same school together. My daughter would be devestated if I had to take her out of her school to send her to a new school in Grade 2. There is no feasable way I could drive my children to seperate schools each morning and afternoon. I'd love to volunteer and give time to the school where my children go but I would not have the time to give to two schools. There is no sense in dividing families and forcing parents to chose whether one child receives a french immersion education and the other does not.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Roxanne Scoretz NANAIMO, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      I would've been put in a very difficult place had I not been able to have all four of my kids at the same school. Had I been forced to withdraw from french immersion to have all my kids at our catchment school, not only would the Immersion program have suddenly lost 4 students thereby increasing the attrition rate, but my kids would have found themselves at a disadvantage suddenly thrust into an english track program before the point at which immersion and english track children draw even in provincially mandated material. We also would have lost the tremendous network of involved parents, staff, and students we have grown accustomed to at our french immersion school. Although we no longer need to worry about registration at the entry level, since all our children are now enrolled, should other families find themselves split between two school, and be forced to withdraw currently enrolled student, the attrition rate would skyrocket, thereby threatening the viability of the programs we are so heavily invested in - programs that should be offered in a country with two official languages.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Erin Allen NANAIMO, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      Families should remain together as much as possible. Removing sibling priority will put unnecessary stress on familes. It seems the real issue is being missed; another French Immersion school is required.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Amanda Johnstone NANAIMO, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because I have 2 youger children that are still not of age to attend school yet. I have already pulled my oldest to homeschool...I may just do that with my 2 youngest if they can nota attend the school where there sibling is at

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.