Save Strathcona School. Stop the mega school for the sake of our kids and community.
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Dear Hamilton Wentworth School Board Trustees,
We the undersigned urge you to reject HWDSB staff recommendation to close Strathcona Elementary school.
Everything we have read on the subject indicates that smaller schools are better for kids, period. We do not understand why the PAR concluded the opposite, other than for financial reasons. We realize that the Ontario government will provide funding only if schools are closed and amalgamated as one mega-school. As has been pointing out by numerous reports and many members of parliament, this model is fundamentally flawed. The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board should not destroy our communities for the sake of money.
Closing Strathcona Elementary School would negatively affect the families who attend this school and the community around it.
The PAR report clearly lays out all of the reasons for keeping small schools: community, traffic and student safety, walkability. These are not trivial concerns. Smaller schools are more community-focused, encourage walking, and having children attend schools that are close to their home is beneficial for health and the environment.
Smaller schools have demonstrated benefits in terms of student achievement, student behavior and safety, parental involvement and teacher satisfaction. The research backing this up is overwhelming! There doesn’t seem to be any benefits to the proposal to close Strathcona Elementary other than for financial reasons. We support the Hess community in getting the new school that they need; we strongly believe that Strathcona Elementary and the community do not need to be destroyed to achieve this goal. We ask you to work harder to develop a plan that will support both the Hess and Strathcona communities.
Please DO NOT vote against community, walkability, safety, achievement and teachers just for the sake of money.
The Strathcona community looks out for each other. When a child is part of a community – not just attending a school, but truly part of a community – they are supported by everyone and will achieve success because of that support.
If Hamilton is meant to truly be the best place to raise a child, what message are we sending if we cast those children out for the sake of extra provincial money? How can it be the best place to raise a child if schools close and communities are torn apart? How can we say we encourage walkability and value the safety of our children if we are closing schools and sending children further away from their homes? If the safety of our neighbourhoods is important, then we need to keep our neighbourhoods together. We are safer when we feel like we are a part of a community.
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