To the editor,
Re: Safe walk program coming to schools, Feb. 15.
School board staff and trustees, in regards to the money and time they are now spending to patronize parents and make it look like they are working at our students’ safety in the walk-safe initiatives at the north-end schools, should not pat themselves on the back yet.
Safety is not the only issue that the walk-safe coordinator and the district should be concerned about. The 3.5-kilometre walk is a huge issue for my Grade 5 student. The hour walk to and from school will, of course, make extracurricular interests that happen before and after school such as band, volleyball, and yearbook pretty much impossible to attend. It rains a lot in Nanaimo. Would your children be able to perform at their optimal level academically after a cold, wet walk of that magnitude?
Additionally, those are big elementary schools being orchestrated in north Nanaimo. How do we ensure beyond any doubt that there will be the appropriate provisions for parking, bathrooms, computer rooms, gym time and equipment, and musical instruments? Larger schools promote exclusion and anonymity and a less-supportive school environment. There is more room for students to be bullied and to fall between the cracks in their curriculum expectations. Small schools do better than larger ones in the areas of safety, teaching conditions, and academic performance. The senses of connectedness, support, and achievement are felt by the students, teaching staff, and the community.
Shaking my head. Would be rolling on the floor laughing, but my children and my property value are affected by these decisions.
Jodi Percival, Nanaimo
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