Help Save International Chinese School!

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A plea to help stop the closure of our school 请帮助阻止我们学校将被关闭的请求。

Please scroll down further for Mandarin Translation. Please note this translation has not been done by professionals so it is for reference only. The English version of the petition conveys the original intention and sentiments.
请往下滑以参照中译版本。中译仅供参照,原意以英文原版为准。

  • International Chinese School (ICS), a small local Sydney school offering an affordable and unique 50/50 Mandarin and English bilingual education is under threat of closure due to the lack of a sufficient site.
  • Even before its official opening, ICS has been searching for a suitable site for over 10 years. ICS cannot continue on its present site as the lease with St Paul’s Anglican Church in Chatswood expires in June and the school’s current intake of students requires a larger site. Currently, the year 3/4 class is being transferred each day from Chatswood to Dural – a testament of the dedication of students and parents to the school. 
  • 211 Pacific Highway, St Leonards, is the School’s only remaining viable option. The school has a State Significant Development Application in progress with the NSW Government, which requires Willoughby Council’s consent for limited use of Council infrastructure, a common practice among schools on the Lower North Shore.
  • Willoughby Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney cast the deciding vote against granting Council permission for the next 5 years, due to concerns about the impact on  recreational users of Gore Hill Park, and future plans for a Gore Hill Park indoor sport facility, which is at 50% funding.
  • ICS has submitted revised proposals that we believe will allow both the School and the Gore Hill Park indoor sports facility to co-exist when it is eventually built, and will not impede recreational users' access to the future Gore Hill Park's facilities.
  • Many local schools are overcrowded and above capacity. A greater number of affordable schools are needed in the North Shore to relieve the burden on parents and children. Families in St Leonards and surrounding areas would greatly benefit from the school's relocation and increased capacity.
  • We petition Willoughby Council Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to save Sydney's only 50/50 Mandarin and English bilingual school by securing the St Leonards site for the School.

Background:

The International Chinese School (ICS) is a small, local Australian primary school that seeks to educate local children in both English and Mandarin. ICS uses a Board-of-Studies-approved 50/50 bilingual syllabus - one of the first of its kind in NSW. This immersive approach has proven to be very successful, with many students set to be fluent in Mandarin by the time they finish their studies.

The New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has stressed the importance of every child attaining a second language. International Chinese School's mission to provide bilingual education and equip young Australians who will move forward in this world with strong values and a deeper appreciation of their own culture and other cultures, is firmly in line with the Premier's goal. Sadly, ICS is currently facing an uncertain future.

Since its inception, ICS has struggled to find a suitable long-term site for the school. ICS currently shares the same site as St Paul’s Anglican Church in Chatswood and has been very grateful to the church for accommodating them for so many years.

However, ICS has now grown beyond the capacity of St Paul’s Church due to rising student numbers, mostly from the local population. 89% of enrolled students come from the local area – the majority from Willoughby, but also from North Sydney, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde, and Lane Cove council areas. This year saw the school welcome its biggest ever kindergarten intake - 2 classes of 15 children each – as interest from local parents has skyrocketed. The school currently has roughly 60 students, but is set to grow to 150 students over the next 7-10 years.

ICS cannot stay at its existing site as there is insufficient capacity. For nearly 10 years, the school has invested countless hours and significant funds searching for a suitable site. Over 20 potential locations have been inspected, many plans drawn and finally in 2017, the site at 211 Pacific Highway, St Leonards (the Sexton’s Cottage of Gore Hill Cemetery) was found.

The St Leonards site presents a wonderful opportunity to expand the school’s capacity so that it can better serve the local community and its needs for bilingual education and more schools. Permission was sought from Willoughby Council on the 10th of February for “alterations [to convert Sexton’s Cottage into a school], use of car parking [for drop off and pick up] and open space at Gore Hill park [during the hours of 11:20am-11:50am for play at lunchtime]” for a period of 5 years.

The vote was tied and the Mayor cast the deciding vote against granting permission. The reasons for voting against were that “the council is in the process of planning significant infrastructure improvements in the form of an indoor sports facility at Gore Hill park requiring that all Council managed lands to the south, east and west of the oval remain unencumbered and available” and “council seeks to maximise community benefits from Council facilities including open space and parking. Reliance on its facilities for the school to operate would compromise access for existing and future recreational users.”

The School has submitted revised proposals that we believe will allow both the School and the future Gore Hill Park indoor sports facility to co-exist, and will not impede recreational users' access to the future Gore Hill Park's facilities. Students and parents are very willing to cooperate with any Council requirements.

The rejection has been a disappointing result for the school, its students, and parents. We are calling on Willoughby Council Mayor, Gail Giles-Gidney to please reconsider and NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian to help save the school from closure.

If ICS is forced to close, it will result not only in students needing to find positions in overcrowded local schools at very short notice, but it will also be the end of the dream of Mandarin fluency for many students, given the language’s complexity and the minimal exposure of most students to Mandarin in everyday conversation.

Language is powerful; it connects people and gives them a platform for deeper relationships. Please help us keep our close knit community together and allow ICS to keep its doors open so that our children and future children can learn mandarin, deepen their understanding of other cultures, and expand their horizons.  

Further Information

http://www.intcs.nsw.edu.au/en/about

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/north-shore/international-chinese-school-plans-for-new-st-leonards-school-in-doubt/news-story/c8ea6123c8dc5aaf365b7508c8ad7799

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/north-shore/international-chinese-school-plans-expansion-to-gore-hill-cemetery-site-to-boost-student-numbers-sixfold/news-story/68f3d8ed50e57cb1e6e8a841cf9156f2

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/north-shore/international-chinese-school-chatswood-celebrates-official-opening-with-registrations-to-2020/news-story/c8f735d82362e55b378722fe515544ca

 

Mandarin Chinese Translation

国际中文学校请愿

请帮助阻止我们学校将被关闭的请求。

  • 由于缺乏适当的校址, 悉尼当地一所提供中文与英语各占百分之五十教学大纲的独特双语学校, 国际中文学校 (ICS)正面临着被关闭的威胁。
  • 在将近十年间, 甚至在未正式开放之前,学校已在不停地搜索着合适的校址。 由于与车士活Chatswood的圣保罗圣公会St Paul’s教堂的租约将于6月到期, ICS将必须把学校迁往更大的校址以应付目前的学生人数。 目前,三至四年级的学生每天都必须从车士活Chatswood转到杜拉尔Dural上课-这是学生们和家长们对学校坚信不移的证明。
  • 211 Pacific Highway, St Leonards 目前是ICS唯一的最后出路。这所学校正在与新南威尔士NSW州政府进行州立重要发展申请。该申请需要威洛比市委会Willoughby Council的许可,才能有限地使用市议会的基础设施,这是下北岸Lower North Shore学校普遍的做法。
  • 威洛比 Willoughby市长Gail Giles-Gidney决定性的反对票否决了学校申请五年使用权的请求。反对基于对戈尔山公园Gore Hill Park室内体育设施未来计划的可能影响性,然而目前此项目只得到了百分之五十的批准资金。
  • ICS提交了修订后的提案是我们认为将允许学校和戈尔山公园Gore Hill Park室内运动设施的并存,并且将不会妨碍大众休闲用户使用未来戈尔山公园Gore Hill Park的基础设施。
  • 当地许多的学校已经学生人满为患。悉尼北岸North Shore急需要更多家长们可以负担得起的学校,以便减轻家长们和孩子们的负担。 此校的搬迁和扩展将能极大地帮助圣伦纳德斯St Leonards及周边地区的家庭。
  • 此请愿书为向威洛比Willoughby Council市议会市长Gail Giles-Gidney和新南威尔士New South Wales 州长 Gladys Berejiklian 恳请批准学校唯一的St Leonards新校址,从而拯救悉尼唯一的中文和英语双语学校。

背景:

国际中文学校(ICS)是一所小型的澳大利亚本地小学,旨在以对当地儿童进行英语和中文教育。 ICS使用经研究委员会批准的50/50双语教学大纲, 这是新南威尔士New South Wales首例以此类教学。 这种耳熏目染的方法已被证明是非常成功的,许多学生在完成学业后便能精通中文精髓。

新南威尔士New South Wales州长Gladys Berejiklian曾明确强调了每个孩子获得第二语言教育的重要性。国际中文学校正是能够完全符合州长的目标。但是,令人遗憾的是,ICS目前正面临着不确定的未来。

自成立以来,ICS一直在努力地寻找适合该学校的长期校址。 ICS目前与车士活Chatswood的圣保罗圣公会St Paul’s教堂位于同一地点,并非常感谢教堂多年来为他们提供的校舍。

由于学生人数的增长(大部分来自当地居民),ICS目前已超出了圣保罗St Paul’s教堂的局限。 在校学生中有89%来自本地,主要都来自Willoughby,以及来自North Sydney, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde和 Lane Cove。 2020年,由于当地父母的兴趣激增学校迎来了有史以来最大的幼儿园入学率 – 两个班级各15名的新生。该学校目前大约有60名学生,但是在接下来的7-10年中将增长到150名学生。

基于地方空间的局限ICS将不能在继续留在现有地点。 在将近十年间,学校投入了无数的时间和大量的资金来寻找合适的校址。至今已访查了20多个潜在地点,制定了许多计划,并最终在2017年找到了在Sexton’s Cottage,211 Pacific Highway, St Leonards的地点。

St Leonards 的理想地点为学校扩展的能力提供了绝佳的机会,将从而可以更好地为当地社区区民提供双语教育和更多的学校。 2月10日,学校向Willoughby Council市委员会要求获得“更改Sexton’s Cottage并建为学校,使用停车场(以供学生上下学接送)和在Gore Hill公园开放空间的许可以让学生们在午餐时间11.20 am-11:50am 可以到公园玩乐”,为期5年。

投票平和下,市长投了反对授予许可的决定票。 投票反对的理由是:“Willoughby Council市委会正在计划将戈尔山Gore Hill公园的室内体育设施基础设施进行重大改善,市委会要求其管理的场地位于东,南和西方向的所有土地均不受限制并保留”和“市委会寻求从区委会运营的设施(包括开放空间和停车场)中获得最大的社区收益。学校依靠其运营的设施将妨碍其现有和未来休闲用户的通路”。

学校提交了修改后的提案是我们认为这将允许学校和未来的戈尔山公园Gore Hill Park室内运动设施能够共存,并且不会妨碍大众娱乐用户使用未来的戈尔山公园Gore Hill Park的设施。 学生们和家长们非常愿意配合市委会的任何要求。

对于学校,学生和家长来说,这一个否决是令人极度失望的结果。 我们呼吁威洛比Willoughby议会市长Gail Giles-Gidney重新考虑,以及新南威尔士New South Wales州长Gladys Berejiklian伸出援手帮助学校免于关闭 。

如果ICS被迫关闭,不仅会导致学生们需要在很短的时间内从学生稠密的本地学校找到学额,而且鉴于中文的博大精深,对于许多学生来说,这也将是他们可以操一口流利中文梦想的终结。 此校大多数学生在日常对话中接触中文的机会很少。

语言是如此的强大,它联系了人与人之间并为我们提供了深化彼此关系的平台。请帮助我们保持紧密的联系社群,并让ICS得以继续开放以便我们的孩子和未来的孩子们能学习中文,以加深他们对其它文化的了解,并扩大他们的视野。