Save the Pineland English Program…It’s Saved!

Elizabeth Gardens truly is a fantastic neighbourhood to live and raise a family in. I am biased of course, as I live and work in Elizabeth Gardens. However, any sceptics need only look to the front lawns of vocal residents for evidence of their community involvement. Signs reading “Save the Pineland English Program” have caught the eye of many a motorist.

In mid-December it was announced to Pineland parents that due to declining enrolments in Grades 1-6 English programs at Pineland Public School, the Halton District School Board was considering a Program Review. JK – 5 English stream students attending Pineland and future JK registrants for the 2010-2011 school year would have been impacted.

Some Background Information:

– 85% of SK students attend Grade 1 French Immersion at Pineland while only 10% go into the English Program for Grade 1. In 2009, there were no Grade 1 students in the English Program.

– In order to maintain funding teachers need to have a 20: 1 Students to Teacher ratio in the classrooms. Dwindling English program attendance could have resulted in triple and quadruple grade classes in order to maintain the 20:1 ratio. This would create educational, social and financial challenges.

– The staff recommendation was to make Pineland Public School the French Immersion Centre for Grade 1-8 students. JK-Grade 6 English Program students in the Pineland catchment area were to be sent to Mohawk Gardens. Pineland would also remain the receiving school for Grade 7-8 English students returning from Mowhawk Gardens.

These suggestions were not received well by the parents in the Pineland catchment area. As a result of the efforts of the Pineland parents the following has transpired:

1. JK – SK – Grade 6 English program remains at Pineland.

2. Grade 1- 6 English classes will be staffed for blended classes (not triple graded)

3. Pineland will be open to optional attendance for Grades 1- 6 English programs as per Board policy for September 2010.

4. Students accepted into Pineland for optional attendance will be allowed to complete their English program pathway at Pineland.

5. Pineland will continue to offer Grade 1-8 French Immersion.

6. Pineland will continue to be the receiving school for Grade 7 – 8 English students from Mohawk Gardens.

7. If optional attendance does not generate sufficient English program enrolment over the 2010 – 2011 school year, effective September 2011, students choosing English program for Grade One would be directed to Mohawk Gardens for their English program. Students currently in
the English program could complete their English program pathway at Pineland

Note: The final decision from staff does not require approval by the Board of Trustees.

It is great to live and work in such an involved community. Great job everyone!

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