A quick shot of Mayfair Community School as the neighbourhood changes from summer to fall.
Today while taking Oliver to Mayfair School (which has a great new park that just opened), a car went through the intersection while we were approaching the crosswalk. Â I never thought too much about it but the guy pulled ahead, got out, and waited for us and then apologized for driving through the intersection while we were there. Â He said that it drives him crazy how cars ignore crosswalks, plus he was in a school zone.
I am not sure that he was as guilty as he said (we were about 4 feet away from the corner) but it was really nice to hear someone respect pedestrians and kids. Â We accepted his apology, Oliver chatted with him and his kid, and went off to class. As we were walking out, he apologized again and said that his older kid had to jump out of the way of a speeding idiot last year in a school zone which is why he was a little sensitive to it. Â I would be as well. Â Still it’s nice to know that even if we don’t always get it right, at least people are trying.
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One Hampton Village resident said some of her neighbours canâ€™t get over the outdated â€œcommunity schoolâ€ label.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.
As Wendy wrote, Mark has been transferred from Mayfair School to Caswell School. The experience has been a really good one for Mark so far which kind of frustrates me. There are more computers, a better paint job, more extra curricular activities, and resources for kids at Caswell despite the schools only being five blocks away from each other. There were a lot of factors involving our move but both of these schools are publically funded schools and yet one has far superior resources thrown at it.
I know school population is part of it. While Caswell has almost no split classes, all of the classes that Mark would be in until he graduated out of there were split classes but shouldnâ€™t all schools have access to the same quality of library, the same access to computers and the same access to educational resources? Especially when they are all of five blocks apart. A good education should not be geographically based.
Of course I would love to be proven wrong. Too bad the Star Phoenix or Planet S Magazine didnâ€™t have the inclination to compare and rate public schools and compare student â€“ teacher, student â€“ computer, student â€“ teacher assistant ratios, extra curricular activities, and look at what grade students could start entering into a run of split classrooms. It would be interesting to see.