Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback

Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
In order to protect the identity of all individuals who have submitted correspondence with regard to the
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review and in keeping with the Municipal Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, all personal information and/or identifiers have been severed from all
recorded communication (i.e. e-mails and letters) prior to distribution. The intent or message has not
been changed.
December 22, 2011
To Whom It May Concern:
I recently read in the newspaper the proposed change of sending french immersion students to
Brisbane and then Erin DHS. My daughter was involved in the Everton children being rerooted to
Eramosa PS because of over crowding in Rockwood. To this day the 2 groups, Everton kids and
Eramosa kids, have stayed separate! In grade 3 these children were uprooted to Eramosa and 3
years later they have not formed friendships that can't be taken back to Rockwood with them when
they return for grade 7. Yes, I realize that numbers Rockwood was too crowded but this change did
nothing except make their lives unsettled and hard. Not only did it effect the Everton kids it also
unsettled the Eramosa kids, my daughter included. No matter what she did to include the girls in her
grade, the Everton girls knew that they would eventually be going back to Rockwood so what was the
point in forming any lasting friendships. Today, in her grade 6 class there are 2 distinct groups!
Sometimes not just numbers have to be looked at, school is to enhance children's lives and give them
the best education. Uprooting city kids into a small country school, Brisbane PS, will not only put
them on the outside but also decrease the extracurricular activities after school especially in high
school as bus times come into play and when parents have to travel from Guelph after work to Erin to
pick their child from home games, I know a lot of parents and kids will opt out. I realize it is their
choice but when the school board makes it harder for kids to participate in their school events and
sports it is only making an already hard time of life even harder for teenagers.
I hope the board does what is best for the students and finds a solution inside Guelph to accomodate
the french students.
December 23, 2011
I wanted to go on the record in support of staff's proposed changes.
Without getting into an overly divisive debate between urban and rural I really think that freeing up
pupil places in City of Guelph schools for City of Guelph residents makes good planning sense.
Thanks for your efforts in this area.
December 23, 2011
Although my children should not be affected, grade 5 and grade 7, My heart goes out to the parents
who are. I reside in Eden Mills 10 minutes from Guelph and cant imagine working a 1/2 hour drive
away from home into my day. I realize we have overcrowding issues to deal with but we need to
figure out an alturnative and keep our kids in Guelph.
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
December 24, 2011
The meeting on Dec 20 was well attended and the delegation well-spoken and clear. It reflected the
thoughts of all East Wellington families at EJ school. The trustees should be very clear on the feelings
of the constituents. If scenarios A,B or C are passed it would be with obvious contempt of the FI
families in Rockwood and Eden Mills. The trustees MUST vote against those scenarios sending FI
children to Erin if they are deserving of the "trust" of the voters. Please do what is right.
December 28, 2011
I would like to strongly suggest that the UGDSB create a French Immersion stream at the new King
George school in order to better absorb the enormous influx of students beginning this fall and for
many years to come.
My son will be starting French immersion in September 2012 and many other families with young
children in our catchment (the Edward Johnson catchment area) are due to start there in 2012 and
2013. We are all concerned about the health, safety and overall learning conditions at what will most
certainly be a an over-crowded school.
I urge you to seriously consider this option when looking at the long-term plan for French immersion
in Guelph. I believe it would make perfect sense.
Please enable a French immersion stream at the new King George.
Thank you.
January 2, 2012
I would like to request the board to review the french immersion program in Erin at present. During
the last boundary review in 2009, the board had promised to strengthen the current french immersion
program in Erin and very little has been done in the last three years to ensure the sustainability of the
current French Immersion in Erin, Ontario. French Immersion is currently fantastic at Brisbane, the
level of FI drops at Erin PS during grades 7 and 8 and at the highschool it is marginally upgraded
from Erin PS.
It would be appreciated if the board could examine the quality of FI and ensure it remain consistent
from kindergarten-grade 12.
Best regards
January 2, 2012
To the UGDSB:
We need you to hear our voices in Erin loud and clear! Please strengthen our current FI program as
you had promised in 2009!
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
French Immersion in Erin was to have been strengthened since the last boundary review in 2009 and
so far there have been very few if any notable changes to the FI in Erin from K-12. There is a history
of FI in Erin since the 1970's, let us keep FI strong, vibrant and a magnet FI program in all three
schools in Erin. Right now, Dufferin students are to be bused to Erin for FI at the Highschool - that
may change as FI numbers in Dufferin are growing rapidly and they most likely will acquire their own
FI highschool program in the near future. We must maintain our own FI numbers in order to preserve
the FI program in Erin.
We want the board to ensure a continued and successful future for the French Immersion education of
our students in Erin.
January 2, 2012
Our 2 children love the French Immersion program, and my husband and I are very happy that they
are part of it. During a trip to Quebec, both children (then ages 6 and 10) were able to confidently
and competenly communicate in French while we were travelling in more remote areas where French
was the primary language spoken.
We have a strong, vibrant, respected FI program in Erin. We need the support of the Board to
strengthen this program so that our children may continue to get this valuable learning opportunity.
January 3, 2012
I am concerned with the process of boundary reviews and the actual transparency of the process. I
would like to know my actual options with regard to my childrens schooling. I am from Rockwood and
as it stands now my options are to keep my children in FI and send them to Brisbane PS or pull them
from FI and send them to Rockwood PS. From doing some reading on your website it seems that
Rockwood PS is being watched and may undergo another boundary review, while it states in the long
term plans for Brisbane PS that the FI stream might switch from JK-6 to JK-3. If my children must
change schools, which you are telling me is the case. I need ALL the information so that I can make
the best decision for my children!
January 3, 2012
My children have been in the French Immersion programme at Brisbane Public School in Erin from
Kindergarten (they are now in Grade 6 & Grade 8). Brisbane is a fantastic school and the FI
programme has been wonderful for my children. We are so lucky to have this educational opportunity
for our children in our community.
January 3, 2012
I currently have 2 children at Edward Johnson, a grade 2 student and a JK student. I also have a
toddler at home who will likely be enrolled in the French Immersion program in a few years. My
family will be affected by this boundary review as we live on the south-east side of Eramosa Road on
Callander Drive and so would be moved to King George. I understand that with the overcapacity
issues at Edward Johnson some changes need to be made however I have a number of concerns with
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
this review. 1- I am very concerned about the fact that King George would be considered a holding
school for the first 2 years after it is built. There will be a small population of children coming from
Edward Johnson and then a revolving door for the next two years of children, with a large amount
being in Grade 7/8 from numerous other schools. There will be absolutely no sense of community
and our children will continue to experience enormous change for the next 2 years. So they will not
only be leaving numerous friends at Edward Johnson, they then could potentially make new friends to
only have them move away from them after 1 year. So when I consider my 4 year old daughter and
the amount of change that she will experience next fall I am very concerned. She is going from a
small totally French Immersion school that only goes up to Grade 6 and is currently in alternating
days of kindergarten. As of next September she would then be in a FDK program with a school full of
French and English students with a lot of them in Grade 7/8 who not be at all committed to the
school as they know it is only temporary for them. She also will have to leave her current day care and
her current after school care as it would not be available to kids at King George. 2- I am concerned
about trying to find after school care in an area where there is not even a current school built to be
able to explore what options are available. I understand that there may be an opportunity for there to
be a program provided at the school. I would highly recommend that this be separate from the FDK
program. The after school program that was offered with the FDK program was only offered to the
kindergarten children. This makes absolutely no sense if there are siblings involved as you would then
need to be finding 2 different afterschool programs. Please make this open to programs who could
provide care to all ages of kids. 3- I am also concerned that the boundary review for King George is
not until 2013. We live right beside the boundary at this point and so have big concerns that our
children could potentially be moved again. 4- while my children do not live in the East Wellington
section I myself grew up in Eden Mills and attended school at Rockwood Centennial. I have
numerous family members who still live in that area and know from vast experience that their
community is not Erin but Guelph. We are living in an era where times are different and we need to
work on building communities - not splitting them up. I would be very disappointed to learn that the
East Wellington students would be moved to the Erin district.
January 3, 2012
I had added a comment earlier however had forgotten to address another concern with Proposal A of
the boundary review. My children live just inside the walking distance to King George on Callander
Drive and while I actually believe my children can walk that far it is the route that they have to take
which is of grave concern to me. There will need to be support from the Board to help my 7 year old
and 5 year old and my 4 year old when she is ready for school to walk past John F. Ross High School,
cross Stevenson Street and cross Metcalfe Street. If you have ever driven down Eramosa Road at
approx. 8:30am or again at the end of the school day you would understand that it is NOT safe for
young children to be walking past this high school at this time. Teenagers are haphazardly crossing
Eramosa all the time, the city bus stops right on Eramosa and unloads teenagers all at once and there
are numerous school buses negotiating the pedestrian and vehicular traffic as well. A very unsafe
scenario for any young children walking to school.
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
January 4, 2012
During deliberations on this issue, the board needs to remember and act on the commitment it made
during the Orangeville FI boundary review in 2009 to strengthen the French Immersion program in
Erin District High School in order to encourage retention of FI students through to grade 12.
We do not want to see the Erin FI program undermined again by boundary changes that pull FI kids
and resources out of the Erin program.
January 4, 2012
I am writing to ask the UGDSB to strengthen our current FI program in Erin, as promised in 2009.
French Immersion in Erin has a strong and proud history - Brisbane for example is a top school in
Ontario. Anecdotally, I know that new residents have moved to Erin as a result of the FI stream and
the local schools.
Please do consider strengthened our FI program, as discussed during the last boundary review in
2009. To-date there have been very few if any notable changes to the FI in Erin from K-12 which is a
shame. We need to keep this vibrant and important academic stream alive in Erin.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
January 4, 2012
As a Rockwood area parent with two children attending the French Immersion program at Edward
Johnson Public School in Guelph I have been shocked by both the nature and the timing of the
current boundary review involving the Rockwood and environs community.
A community is made up of a group of interacting people based on a shared geographical location
as well as a shared system of networks. Due to its location and the nature of these networks the
community of Rockwood has always been linked to Guelph. This sense of connectedness has naturally
occurred over time and it has created a cohesion of essential elements.
These elements include participation in a vast array of extra-curricular activities that range from
various sports to dance and music lessons. Many children have after school arrangements in Guelph
for these activities as well as for day care services for many of the Rockwood parents who work in
Another essential connection is one involving health care. Rockwood families are serviced by Guelph
physicians and hospitals. Regular appointments as well as emergency situations are all handled in
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
Not only do many in the Rockwood community work in Guelph and have many professional ties there
but it is also where their social networks including extended family, friends, clubs and associations are
located. Retail shopping and services, restaurants, entertainment venues as well as government offices
also make Rockwood inextricably connected to Guelph.
This system of networks that connect Rockwood to Guelph have had a great effect on the children of
our community. Due to the fact that both parents in Rockwood families either work there or use
Guelph as its greater community, Edward Johnson has been able to benefit from the availability of
parent volunteers that would otherwise not exist.
The French Immersion program in the Rockwood area has always linked our children to the schools in
Guelph. This fact has had a profound impact on not only their education but on family decisions and
choices regarding professional lives and living accommodations. Many Rockwood parents chose this
community based on the assumption of the educational ties with Guelph.
There is no interaction nor shared system of networks with Erin. Rockwood’s sense of connectedness to
a greater community will always be Guelph oriented. This is due to geography and history. Trying to
alter this reality by parachuting our children into a different community with which we have no ties is
not in the best interests of our children. It is an ill conceived plan that has been hastily cobbled
together in an attempt to railroad the process through during the Christmas season. The best interests
of the children and their education must be valued above all.
January 5, 2012
Good Afternoon
I have two sons currently in French Immersion program in Erin - grade 11 and grade 6.
According to the boundary review in 2009, it had been promised that Erin French immersion would
be supplied quality programming and the student retention would be elevated in the french immersion
at the high school level. Also, there is an ongoing concern at the lack of strength in the FI
programming in grades 7 and 8 at the Erin PS once students have graduated from Brisbane - which is
considered extraordinary in french immersion. Please have it noted, that we are still awaiting the
above statements in Erin - please advise of any current considerations.
I strongly support the addition of students from the Edward Johnson PS boundary review and, on
behalf of the community of schools in Erin, we warmly welcome additional students to the current
french immersion program in Erin.
I request that the board and trustees seriously consider strengthening the current FI program in Erin by
resources and providing additional students to the Erin French Immersion.
January 5, 2012
why is there a boundary review and i was wondering why kids have too switch schools because it's the
parents decision what school there kids go too.
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
January 5, 2012
Upper Grand upper grand upper grand! Why should the people that lives in grange area...MOVE
schools!?! Why can't the new kindergardens that come next year go to a diferen't school and tell them
it's too full at this school!!!???!!! WHY ARE YOU MAKING THE POOR KINDERGARDENS GO EVERY
January 5, 2012
Good Evening,
I have two daughters currently in French Immersion (FI) program in Erin – grades 1 and JK . We will
have a third daughter there in the 2015-16 academic year. We moved to Erin three years ago, with a
huge community asset being the strong and improving FI program.
I have read the boundary review from 2009, where it was promised that Erin FI would be supplied
quality programming. Another stated goal was to have the program at the high school level
enhanced. There also appears to be concerns about the FI programming in grades 7 and 8 at the
Erin .- Brisbane appears to have had great success with their program and I have become involved
with the school and am impressed with the administration, staff and overall vision. At this point I do
not believe that many of the commitments have been acted upon since 2009, with few changes in the
program, especially at the middle and upper level schools.
I attended the meeting in Guelph on the boundary changes which would move about 40 students to
Erin FI from the Guelph program. Our community and both of us support this initiative and will
guarantee that both students and parents will be warmly greeted and supported in their change.
As parents and strong community supporters, we request that the board and trustees seriously
consider strengthening the current FI program in Erin. This could be done through adding these
additional students and any other needed resources.
We are here to help. Please advise us of anything we can do to help in this process. Feel free to call
us anytime if you have any questions.
Best regards,
January 5, 2012
We would like to emphasize again our strong feeling that the Tytler community children should be
allowed to stay on at Edward Johnson School (EJ hereafter). We do not think it is fair for our children
to be asked to move twice in so short a space of time.
We do realize that the Board faces difficult choices given the enrollment pressures on EJ. But the
social anxieties and educational disruption that our children will experience by being asked to move
again is too high a price to pay for this.
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
Moreover, we do not think paying this price is necessary. We would like to suggest an alternative that
involves only a slight change to the current recommended scenario (A):
The current situation involves a conflict between two deeply felt needs: the opinions held by all parents
with children enrolled at EJ that their children’s education should not be disrupted and the need to
accommodate FDK at EJ that faces the Trustees. However, there is a group who have not been
considered ‘movable’ but who do not fall into the above category. This is the projected enrolment in
EJ from the communities currently under development along the North side of Eastview Road, east of
Victoria Rd. The projected enrolments from these communities is as follows:
2012 - approx. 30*
2016 - approx. 50*
2020 - approx. 60*
* source: Heather Imm
These enrollments are being included in the data on which the scenarios are based but do not
currently have children enrolled at EJ. Therefore, they are the group who will suffer th
e least harm if they are re-districted. In other words, this solution solves the principal disadvantage of
Scenario A, from our point of view – the fact that Tytler children would be moved again.
Two other considerations related to advantages are also worth taking into account: 1) These
communities seem to be approximately the same distance from King George school as they to EJ, so
the ‘walkability’ advantage listed for scenario is not threatened. 2) The ‘vitality’ advantage may seem
to be compromised by this solution, as these communities are presumably considered to be a
significant pool of future students for EJ. However, there are some major unknowables involved in
projecting these numbers (how many will choose FI? How many will choose Catholic, or private
schools?), and this weakens the argument for giving priority to this principle. Moreover, if the principle
of ‘vitality’ is to be weighed against the principle of ‘limiting educational disruption’, it seems to us,
that the latter not the former should prevail.
We respectfully ask that you consider this proposal and our concerns in this matter.
January 6, 2012
French Immersion in Erin is one of the reasons we moved to Erin from abroad as Brisbane PS has an
impressive record of immersion teaching. If more students supported the programme, the french
immersion opportunities in Erin can only improve.
January 6, 2012
I am a grandparent of two children in the french immersion program at Edward Johnson School.
They live in Rockwood and we live in Puslinch. We are opposed to the proposal to send these children
to Erin. The focus of their lives, i.e. where their doctors are located, extra-curricular activities are and
their friends live is Guelph. Not only would relocation of their school attendance to Erin disrupt this
focus of their activity, it would disrupt the activity of many other children from Rockwood. Out of
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
necessity, my wife and I do pick up or deliver our grandchildren at or to school. It would be most
inconvenient (1 hour drive each way) to have to pick them up in Erin. We stronly urge the Board to
reconsider this proposal!
January 6, 2012
I trust we are all committed to working on long term solutions that support communities, families and
the welfare of the children. This must be the motivator behind all decisions that impact the quality of
education and the best interests of the social development of our children.
However, it is becoming an increasing concern that we are still continuing with the petty politics and
band aid solutions from last years rushed mistakes. We have been provided with ‘3’ scenarios that
are provided with ‘if’ solutions and little movement or options for families.
As a Tytler parent, whose child has gone through all the changes from JK the lack of consideration
given to the needs of our families, communities and most importantly our children is upsetting. Let me
offer the observations shared by other parents who appear to share my concerns:
None of these proposals reunite our district back to our local school John McCrae (JM), which
has forever been a part of our community.
JM is much closer and within an acceptable and safer ‘walking distance’, unlike King George,
which requires our children to navigate up a steep hill and in an unknown residential area. Our
children will be required to walk through unsafe areas or on busy roadways that would be twice the
distance from JM.
Our border communities are being forced out of our schools that have always been part of
the Guelph community, not the Brisbane/Erin townships.
I heard the reasoning that all the schools are to be JK – 8 but this
is not happening at all.
Instead two schools are being forced with the whole population of 7/8s, instead of real
distribution between the community across Guelph. In light of this not happening, why is King
George not being returned as a 7/8 school instead of creating another elementary FI location
squeezed in between two other FI locations?
One of the answers offered is that a ‘holding’ school is needed for the English track students
while Laurine is being rebuilt. However, why then are they being mixed in with the FI at KG which is
creating more confusion for the children. Why can’t Tytler be utilized as the holding school for all the
ET students so that they can stay together throughout the whole process?
Either way if KG becomes FI or becomes 7/8 FI only, room will have opened up at John
McCrae. It would be logistically logical for JM to accommodate the Tytler district along with other
space that’s needed from the overcrowding of EJ. This would be in the best interest of the children
while keeping families and communities together.
However, I am fearful that the unacceptable proposals being debated by the Board will be extremely
damaging to my child’s social and emotional development. After the struggles and fear of changing
schools again and adapting to the new school EJ, to be forced to go to another new school that will
provide no stability and chaos at three different levels is unacceptable.
Personally, I know that for our family, the only acceptable move is going back to John McCrae or for
us to stay at Edward Johnson. However, I also am seriously concerned that throwing everyone and
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
everything in one school will be damaging to the social development of our children, while being
destructive to our communities. I sincerely hope that other proposals will be forthcoming and be
productive to our communities and provide stability for all our children.
January 5, 2012
Dear Bob Borden/Linda Bussitil,
I am writing this letter, once again, on behalf of the FI families in Erin and Hillsburgh (and perhaps
those families who will be affected by the Edward Johnson Boundary Review). I acted as the parent rep
for EDHS during the French Immersion Review of 2008/09 for East Wellington and Dufferin County.
I recently attended the public forum in Guelph for the families of the Edward Johnson Boundary
Review to hear the Board’s forecast/plans and respond to the upcoming boundary review which would
possibly see the relocation of the Rockwood FI families to Brisbane/EPS in Erin.
After the arduous review of 2008/09 where it was reiterated to me time and time again that it is
dependent on the ‘numbers of students’ that we see the investments in our FI program (although the
ultimate decision made by the Board during our review defied that logic) I could immediately
appreciate the VALUE of the possibility of seeing the potential added number of FI students coming
from Rockwood should the boundary review take place.
I attended this meeting in support of THOSE families, to let them know, should they be mandated to
our schools that we would welcome them, include them, and help them through their transition. We
have a wonderful community in Erin and of course, we are proud to share it. But honestly, how could I
in all conscience tell them they were coming to a fantastic FI program? Look at what they stand to
lose. John F. Ross. Now THAT is a fantastic FI program.
What happened to us in Erin? The Board meeting of Feb. 24, 2009 (page 52 of the minutes) stated
the following:
Trustees passed the motion that….
(e) “ senior staff continue to work with Erin DHS, Centre Wellington DHS and Norwell DSS principals
in order to supply quality programming and increase student retention in the French Immersion
(f) “senior staff facilitate meetings of the principals of schools with grade 7/8 Immersion French
programs to explore ways of strengthening the program at Erin Public School, …”
(g) “the French Immersion Review Committee continue to meet in 2009 to continue the discussion of
implementing a new program and supporting existing programs for the benefit of all Immersion
French students in East Wellington and Dufferin counties.”
I can’t speak to what staff has been/or is doing. I do know that there was discussion of creating a
summer FI two-week (suggested ecological) camp to achieve a credit and perhaps alleviate the stress
of scheduling on the small school of Erin and further insure Erin EDHS FI students the possibility of
attaining their full certification.
I never heard anything further about this. Perhaps you did offer something. But if you did, why didn’t
my FI daughter hear anything about it? If she didn’t hear anything...chances are many others didn’t as
Furthermore, On Jan. 10, 2010, Trustees accepted the Working Group report of the Co-Chairs of the
Immersion French Review Committees for Erin, Orangeville and Dufferin Counties which stated that:
“The Working Group Members (East Wellington Working Group Report) also discussed the longer
term impacts of introducing FI in Orangeville and that although Erin DHS is the FI destination for
Edward Johnson FI Boundary Review Feedback
December 22, 2011 to January 6, 2012
secondary students that there is a need for the Board to be proactive in ensuring that there is a long
term student retention strategy in place.
The group discussed that there is an opportunity for Erin DHS to reflect on its program offerings with
consideration to retaining FI students and also the Regular Track Students.”
Can you tell me what the Board has done in this regard? Where has it been proactive? What are we
doing to ensure there is retention in the FI stream in Erin?
End of school year last, and through the transition of our new principal, Kelly Shaw, a group of FI
parents have met and discussed ways of creating a specialty FI program at EDHS that has the
components of an ECO program.
Our community is a perfect compliment to such a program and EDHS is unique in that it is truly a
community-based school through our flagship multi-use facility. I can say, that our parents are still
struggling to keep it alive and to create a program that makes it a destination school for FI students.
We could use your help.
Of course the addition of the Rockwood families would only prove to be beneficial to us here in Erin.
But sadly, I cannot endorse such a transition for they stand so much to lose beyond the primary level.
So, tell me, what can you do for them to ensure it it worth their upheaval? What you can you do for us
here in Erin?
The Education Act states:
“All partners in the education sector, including the Minister, the Ministry and the boards, have a role
to play in enhancing student achievement and well-being, closing gaps in student achievement and
maintaining confidence in the province’s publicly funded education systems. 2009, c. 25, s. 1.”
Therefore, one could argue that FI students in Erin need the Board to be committed to student
achievement and closing the gaps in student achievement in FI by strengthening the long-term
sustainability of the program. By strengthening the program and adding students to the system, it also
maintains confidence in the system by maximizing the use of resources and facilities.
It is indeed a conundrum. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? You tell me.
Sincerely Yours,
January 6, 2012
In the boundary review currently underway for Edward Johnson PS's FI program, please consider the
opportunities that the additional numbers would provide to the Erin area's FI programs. There were
strong commitments to strengthen the Erin FI programs made by the Board during the 2009 Erin area
boundary reviews, and these are now long, long overdue.
Regardless of how it is accomplished - it is time to meet the committments made several years ago.
Thank you,