Why do so many parents spurn Caroline Robins for the stuffed halls of Dundonald?
One Hampton Village resident said some of her neighbours canâ€™t get over the outdated â€œcommunity schoolâ€ label.
Justine McCaffrey, the president of the Hampton Village community association, has two sons, four and two years old. Although they had strongly considered Caroline Robins, her older child attends Dundonald preschool because itâ€™s closer to their house and a teenage neighbour can walk him to and from school.
â€œHad we lived any further away from the schools, I would be taking my kids to Caroline Robins.â€
Sheâ€™s heard parents say they wonâ€™t consider sending their kids to Caroline Robins because it was a â€œcommunity school.â€ That used to be a designation that gave schools extra provincial funding for nutrition programs and other extras to help lower-income students.
A third of Caroline Robinsâ€™ students are First Nations and Metis.
Itâ€™s up to the school division to dispel stereotypes about Caroline Robins and tell parents what the school has to offer, she said.
â€œPeople sit there and they look at the label â€˜community school,â€™ and they think (Caroline Robins is an) inner-city school, where thereâ€™s less fortunate kids, that the teachers arenâ€™t the same â€” which they are,â€ McCaffrey said. â€œItâ€™s no different of a school than Dundonald is, or St. Peter, or any of the schools in the area.â€
The answer is that Caroline Robins school is a community school because the public school system has decided that the kids that go there need additional supports. Â Sadly they need the supports (like feeding programs and other supports) because they are not all getting them at home. Â Often it means disengaged parents which lead to lower classroom performance. Â So as a parent in Hampton Village, do you want to send your kid to an overcrowded school with more engaged parents and students or a community school with less engaged parents and lower performing students? Â The numbers answer that question.