PEI

Charlottetown schools public meeting short on information, says parent

The public consultation phase of the Charlottetown schools review is officially underway, with the first of three public meetings held Monday night.

6 schools are under review

Participants were asked to come up with solutions to specific questions. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

The public consultation phase of the Charlottetown schools review is officially underway, with the first of three public meetings held Monday night. 

This first meeting was to discuss the elementary school portions of study, which includes West Kent and Spring Park. There are six schools under review, including Birchwood Intermediate and Queen Charlotte Intermediate, as well as the two Charlottetown High Schools. 

The format of the consultations is much different than the last round of consultations in 2017, with a focus on asking questions rather than presenting information.

But some parents, like Danny Jenkins, wanted more information in order to provide proper feedback. 

"We probably needed a bigger scope, we needed to consider more than two schools," he said 

"We needed a breakdown of the composition of the schools, both in terms of each grade level and the numbers in different streams: English, French and English as an additional language."

The first meeting was to discuss two elementary schools, West Kent and Spring Park. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

Jenkins went on to say that with the information they were given it was sometimes hard to make a decision. Participants were given an overview of the attendance projections for the next five years.

People at the meeting were split into groups and asked to write down solutions to the question, "Given the enrolment projections, what are some concrete solutions to address the strain on space an resources facing the elementary school in the Charlottetown Family of Schools?"

Participants were also asked to answer these three questions. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

Then they were asked to switch the groups up, and answer one of the these questions: 

  • Looking forward, how can we create a stronger learning environment for students in the Charlottetown Family of Schools?
  • If you were going to make additions or build new infrastructure, where would it be and what would you include? 
  • What are some of the out-of-the-box solutions to the strain on space and resources facing the Charlottetown Family of Schools?

These questions will be asked at the next two meetings, and are the same on the online survey. 

The next meeting, for the high schools is on Wednesday, and on Thursday the intermediate level will be discussed. Both meetings are at Charlottetown Rural at 7 p.m. All the data collected will go into a final report to be sent to the board of the Public Schools Branch.

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About the Author

Natalia Goodwin

Video Journalist

Natalia is a video journalist in P.E.I. She has also worked for CBC N.L.