Dear BWDSB Trustees,

What a busy week! Apologies for the mass email, but there doesn't seem to be much time left to reach out to each of you by phone.

After having a chance to discuss this at our School Community Council (SCC) meeting at Sydenham and with a group of parents from Derby, Dufferin, Sydenham and Bayview schools, I'll be asking you Tuesday to vote "No" to commencing the Accommodation Review process as it currently stands.

My reasoning is outlined in the below, which is being sent to media and distributed to as many parents as we can reach at the affected schools. I hope you'll agree that it would be a much more positive and collaborative experience for everyone involved to follow the Ministry's guidelines and send this back to senior administration with an instruction to do their due diligence and conduct a meaningful consultation to inform the options in their Initial Staff Report. It seems reasonable that there would be more than one option on the table, as well.

I was told to get involved in SCC so we would have a voice on the board-level issues affecting our kids, and that's what I've done, yet we were as blindsided as anyone else in this. Most SCCs haven't even had a chance to meet yet, let alone have an informed discussion and let you know how they feel about this. Our SCC has a by-law preventing any decision-making on an issue until it's been tabled for at least one meeting, so we weren't even able to write a letter and voice an opinion. As a result, I'm contacting you only on my own behalf, but I will be communicating this position with as many community members and parents as possible.

You have an opportunity here to reach out instead of shutting us out. First, you need to vote "no" to the way this has been brought to this point by board staff and respectfully insist that it's done properly, as per Ministry Guidelines and your own Strategic Plan.


For Parents and Community Members:stopthevote

On October 6, BWDSB staff submitted a report to trustees with just one option for an Accommodation Review:
- That the grade 7 and 8 program in the Owen Sound Area Group of Schools be accommodated in the Owen Sound area secondary schools; and
- That Bayview Public School, Derby Public School and Dufferin Elementary School be scheduled for closure for the 2016-17 school year with students being accommodated at the remaining schools in the Owen Sound Area Group of Schools and surrounding schools.
On Tuesday, October 20 at 7:00 pm, the Board of Trustees will vote on whether to commence this Accommodation Review process. Once that process begins the opportunity for public input will be limited.
Prior to making a recommendation, BWDSB senior administrative staff should have followed the Community Planning & Partnerships Guideline, which was released by the Ministry the same day as the new Accommodation Review Guidelines.
School Community Councils were not consulted.
Municipalities have not been consulted.
Owen Sound City Council has voted unanimously to ask BWDSB to put the process on hold and engage in true public consultation as spelled out in the policy.

What You Can Do:
- Bring as many people as possible to the Board Meeting October 20th at 7pm in Chesley
- Go to the board website for trustee names and call each one to let them know you want them to vote "No" to commencing this process.


Miranda Miller

Owen Sound