Find Somewhere Other Than Seycove To Accommodate The West Van Warriors Hockey Academy

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[ADDENDA - March 9, 2020]

Please note: This petition was created by a concerned Seycove student. It seeks a true accounting upon which Seycove students, parents, faculty, and trustees can make informed decisions regarding the hockey academy. The petition neither speaks for nor represents the views of the Seycove Parent Advisory Council (PAC).

This petition asks for two things from school trustees:

1.  Full transparency into and accounting of any and all behavioural issues that may have contributed to the hockey academy program's termination at Sentinel.

2.  Controls (such as support and counseling) to ensure that Seycove remains a safe space for learning (even if it must accommodate 76 new West Van Hockey Academy students).

 

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In the past week, the parents and students of Seycove Secondary were told that an elite hockey academy from West Van, the West Van Warriors Hockey Academy, would probably make the decision to transfer all 76 of its players to Seycove for the next school year. This was the first anyone had heard of this transaction, and the deadline for this decision is March 13th. The academy is now hosted at Sentinel Secondary, in West Vancouver School District. Diane Nelson, West Van school district’s director of instruction, announced on January 31 that Sentinel is parting with the program because of “concerns about academic success, and other challenges such as student programming and scheduling as well as the increased enrolment at Sentinel.
Many people, including the teachers of Seycove and the Seycove Parent Advisory Council (PAC), report feeling blindsided by this move. No one on the PAC was consulted before last night, and they report that they are, understandably, confused and upset. We need more information and transparency from the school district, and community discussion about how this will impact our school and our students.


Here are some of the concerns we have about this academy coming to Seycove:

  • The team has struggled with behavioural issues. At the PAC meeting, parents were told that one reason the program is moving is because of ‘bad behaviour’ from the players. This is a quote from Jane Seyd’s article in the North Shore News from February 28th, soon after it was announced that Seycove was the most likely option for the program:

On Tuesday, trustee Mary Tasi-Baker asked that academic and counselling support would be made a condition of approving the program, adding behavioural issues linked to the hockey program had been a focus of extensive discussion among trustees. That wasn’t supported by the majority of the board, however.” 

  • Because the board did not support this motion to counsel these boys, their behavioural issues could become a serious problem at Seycove.
  • We don’t have enough information. In the absence of proven factual information, very disturbing rumours are spreading. We need to know more about instances of bad or violent behaviour, so we know how this move would affect the safety of our students. 
  • Seycove is, simply put, too small. The currently enrolled student body for the 2020/2021 year is 521 students. If these students came to Seycove, they would make up about 12% of the student body. All international students would only make up 8%.
  • One of the arguments for this program is more course selection, but, unfortunately, that may not be the case. We will probably end up with more competitive course selection, and struggle to take the classes we need.
  • Studies show that in classes where girls have more representation, everyone does better. Bringing 76 new boys into the school could drastically change our gender balance and our grade averages, and create a difficult learning environment for Seycove students.


Please sign this petition so we can delay this decision. We need more information on how this is going to affect our students and our learning environment. Our number one priority should be the safety of our students.


I have tried to fact-check this information as well as I can, but it may not be 100% accurate. Here are the sources I used:

An article in the North Shore News by Jane Seyd, February 28th, 2020
https://www.nsnews.com/news/west-van-s-elite-hockey-academy-moving-to-seycove-1.24086781 

An article in the North Shore News by Jane Seyd, February 3rd, 2020
https://www.nsnews.com/sports/west-vancouver-school-district-cutting-ties-with-elite-hockey-academy-1.24067814

A study from the American Psychological Association, April 29th, 2014
https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/04/girls-grades