Keep Columbia Forest within Vista Hills P.S. attendance zone

This petition made change with 154 supporters!

The Columbia Forest Community and anyone who wishes to support this petition are requesting the WRDSB of Trustees to keep the designation of the Columbia Forest neighborhood within the Vista Hills P.S. attendance zone as part of the West Waterloo Elementary Boundary Study, Phase 2.

  1. Many Columbia Forest students have already been switched schools four times, which is a high number of boundary changes for a single neighbourhood within a short window of time.                                                                                                   
  2. If moved to a different school, Columbia Forest students’ social and emotional development as well as academic achievement would likely be compromised.                                                                                   (i) J. Reynolds, Arthur & Chen, Chin-Chih & Herbers, Janette. (2009). School Mobility and Educational Success: A Research Synthesis and Evidence on Prevention.
    (ii) Gasper J, DeLuca S, Estacion A. Switching Schools: Reconsidering the Relationship Between School Mobility and High School Dropout. Am Educ Res J. 2012;49(3):487-519.
    (iii) Sparks, S. (2016, August 11). Student Mobility: How It Affects Learning. Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from
  3. The Columbia Forest neighborhood contains pockets of vulnerability that deserve consideration (financially challenged, kids with special needs).
  4. Socioeconomically, Columbia Forest brings diversity to the Vista Hills school community. Diversity in any of its forms is a core Canadian value.
  5. The second phase of the West Waterloo Boundary Study was originally only meant to address the reassignment of grade 7 & 8 students. Notice on relocation of other Columbia Forest students to a different school effective on the 2019 school year would be very short.
  6. Many Columbia Forest families have made significant contributions to the school including fundraising for playgrounds, home reading programs and other needs. Vista Hills students and their families feel a strong connection to the Vista Hills community and the unique sense of pride that comes with opening a school.
  7. If Columbia Forest students are relocated to Laurelwood P.S. (as an alternative WRDSB proposed solution): the Columbia Forest neighborhood is an established walking zone to this school; therefore, a busing service would be unavailable. There is a consensus on safety concerns among parents due to high traffic volumes, which will probably lead to an increase in children being driven to school and has the following implications:

    (i) Later drop-off times for working parents increasing the need for before-school care.

    (ii) Higher traffic volumes at Laurelwood P.S., which is already a concern for existing Laurelwood residents.
  8. If Columbia Forest students are relocated to Abraham Erb P.S.(as an alternative WRDSB proposed solution): they would have to go through yet another transition to Laurelwood P.S. for grades 7 & 8, potentially exacerbating a possibly already existing sense of disconnection and increasing their risk for academic, emotional, and social underachievement.

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