Support for Gloucester High School sign now

We, the Undersigned, wish to demonstrate our support of Gloucester High School (GHS) and our strong commitment that Gloucester High should NOT be considered for closure by the Ottawa Trustees, OCDSB staff, and Accommodation Review Committee, for the reasons defined below, and in accordance with the ARC mandate that states its purpose is to balance programming in a manner that provides the greatest long term stability, but is sensitive to student disruption.

We, the Undersigned, strongly believe that all students in the OCDSB are entitled to the best education possible, and that Gloucester High School represents this well. Regardless of race, background, or socio-economic status, education should be equitable, offering the best possible opportunities for all students. It is not a privilege for those of certain social status, but is an integral part of Canadian society, and a right which ensures a progressive future for all. Certainly Gloucester High School provides a safe learning environment for all students, supporting their inherent gifting, and various future vocations, enabling each to bloom successfully as citizens.

We, the Undersigned, strongly believe that Gloucester High School epitomizes a successful and well-rounded school which best serves the needs of ALL students and is best suited to continue to provide this strong, successful, and balanced education for the greatest number of students in the future. Our students are blossoming intellectually and socially with the options which Gloucester High School provides to them.

Notable academic success is not reserved for Colonel By students alone, but is the right and pursuit of many Gloucester students! The fact that the top student in Ottawas east end last year came from Gloucester High, speaks volumes about the educational stability Gloucester offers. Not only does Gloucester High offer excellent academics, it affords a balanced education that assists students in becoming confident, well-rounded and socially-balanced contributing citizens. And, because it is a true microcosm of Canadian society with vast diversity of its student population, Gloucester provides a diversity of pathways to facilitate all students success. Within its well-equipped facility, GHS is able to offer academic and applied programming, as well as a wide range of other course opportunities ranging from Gifted, to international students programs. Award-winning Music, Art, and Drama programs are largely unparalleled within the board. Computer technology, advanced Construction Technology, and Auto mechanics continue to offer program excellence to students in these often overlooked, but very necessary, fields. From its halls of opportunity and diversity, our students are well-adapted socially and are able to compete academically and intellectually, as well as in the arts and trades, with any school in the board.

One of the ARCs goals is to make the best use of our facilities and resources. With its expansive and well-equipped facility, Gloucester High is situated in an excellent and highly accessible location with a superior capacity to accommodate 1600 students, with wheel-chair accessibility, and houses 2 gyms, an auditorium, music rooms, tennis courts, a large sports field and track, business media room, dark room, ceramics room, visual computer lab, dance studio, digital recording systems and a green house. These provide excellent accommodation for all of its successful programs, and a large variety of extra-curricular activities. Gloucester High School is extremely accessible by public transportation, situated in an excellent location beside an arena, swimming pool, baseball diamond, and public library, which all enhance our students opportunities. Of the three high schools being evaluated for closure, Gloucester HS is the only school that offers this wide range of learning opportunities to the full community, and the only building, of the three, capable of maintaining this number of options for students in one school.

The purpose of the OCDSB is to provide students with the best possible education in its region. The priority, being addressed by this ARC, is the students and their education. For this reason, we would like to remind the trustees and committee members that the 3 schools in question have not been equally and unequivocally represented, since community members, whose families are not directly involved in the educational process, may be motivated by other business interests. Gloucester High truly serves its community, and does it well and successfully.

Initially during the ARC process, there were many various options presented. Though it is not clearly understood why some of these were not retained, it seems that there is a reluctance associated with carrying out some of the options. Since the majority of Colonel Bys students are bussed in, however, the students themselves would be largely unaffected by which premises physically contains the IB program, and whether the IB program is transferred to one of the two other schools in question, and the rest of CBs population to the other. Another option may be that the IB Program could be contained in a school of its own, and the rest of the CBs population moved to the close proximity of Gloucester High, while Rideau could be enhanced with additional programming.

In addition to the option mentioned above, of having the IB Program become a school in itself, and the rest of the Colonel By student population could attend Gloucester High, there are other options. For example, school boundaries in the East were amended before the ARC convened. Readdressing Ottawa school boundaries could also help adjust school populations. These are, in fact, part of the reason that Gloucesters student population is now reduced. Though we understand that a population of Gloucesters current size is ideal for running a school, we realize that its terrific premises is able to properly accommodate many more.

It is clear that each of the 3 school communities have valid points, concerns, and passion, each preferring that their own school remain open. Should Option A be met with agreement from the trustees, members of the Board, and the committees responsible, and future ways to boost enrollments are addressed, this MAY be a preferable option, with which each respective community may be most pleased. However, should it be decided that Option A is not viable, and one of the 3 schools MUST close, WE BELIEVE THAT THE ONLY TRUE AND VIABLE OPTION WHICH WOULD BEST SERVE THE 3 SCHOOLS AND THEIR POPULATIONS, WOULD BE A SLIGHTLY MODIFIED OPTION E, MERGING BOTH COLONEL BY AND GLOUCESTER HIGH SCHOOLS, WITH A MODIFIED AMMENDMENT NOT TO PENALIZE THE PINEVIEW AND CARSON GROVE POPULATIONS BY DISPLACING THEM FROM THEIR HOME SCHOOL.

In this situation, Rideau High could then remain open, and the student body, which took pride in their schools additional on-site programs, could be increased by other options, such as job training, ESL and FSL, Adult Education, and other options, as well as the facilitys use enhanced perhaps, with community programs and/or east-end board meetings. This option would best preserve the integrity of each of the 3 school communities, enhance their educational options, and cause the least disruption to all students concerned.

Regarding Colonel By and Gloucester High schools, this option would best serve the student populations, ENABLING ALL, rather than DISRUPTING MANY. For those students in Colonel Bys direct catchment area, the Gloucester facilitys close proximity, is half the traveling distance for students, when compared to any of the other options, and offers a definite advantage. Both Colonel By and Gloucester boast their successes; why not share these, as well as the facility? It would enhance the students program options, and even opportunities, as iron sharpens iron. This is totally in line with the one of the ARCs goals of enhancing the provision of high quality learning environments and superior programming for all students. The benefits of each schools successes and diverse experiences, would undoubtedly benefit them all. Since the IB program is not site-specific, and its teachers have already received the necessary rigorous training, it is unlikely that its program certifiers would not desire its continued success in an enhanced facility such as Gloucester High offers and enjoys.

It would give greater options in sports as well: instead of only one level of sports offered which limits student participation, the merging would allow various levels, such as Junior, Senior, and Varsity teams, enhancing the possibilities for all students. Why shut students out, when we can include them?

In the same way, we choose to continue to include those in the immediate communities of Pineview and Carson Grove, allowing them to continue to benefit from the Gloucester teachers fine tradition of program excellence with their community students.

This blended school would offer the complete package, while allowing the Rideau students to continue to enjoy and benefit from their school. As the ARC mandate suggests, this then would balance programming in a manner that provides the greatest long term stability, but is sensitive to student disruption. As outlined here, we, the undersigned, believe this is undoubtedly the best way to satisfy the needs of ALL students, and their respective communities.

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Latest Signatures

  • 26 December 2015350. Elizabeth H
    I support this petition
  • 20 December 2015349. Shervin M
    I support this petition
  • 18 December 2015348. Analis G
    I support this petition
  • 17 December 2015347. John M
    DON'T ruin great success---KEEP GHS OPEN!!!!!
  • 14 December 2015346. Jessica G
    I support this petition
  • 12 December 2015345. Dylan W
    I support this petition
  • 08 December 2015344. Steven M
    I support this petition
  • 26 November 2015343. Jennifer A
    The principals and staff at Glousester High School have truly helped me out when I needed it. They have spent their personal time and effort to ensure that I got a good education. I must truly thank everyone at Glousester High School and it's staff for al
  • 25 November 2015342. Ann K
    I support this petition
  • 24 November 2015341. Elaine C
    I support this petition
  • 22 November 2015340. Andrew Lp
    I love GHS, I chose this school (an hour travelling distance from my house) over two schools in my proximity.
  • 20 November 2015339. Angela B
    I support this petition
  • 17 November 2015338. Christina A
    I support this petition
  • 16 November 2015337. Jonathan W
    I support this petition
  • 12 November 2015336. Samoon A
    save ghs
  • 11 November 2015335. Eunsun Bright
    I support this petition
  • 08 November 2015334. Julia R
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 2015333. Ivy F
    I support this petition
  • 01 November 2015332. Kevin H
    I support this petition
  • 25 October 2015331. Jackie S
    We're talking EDUCATION here!
  • 13 October 2015330. Kathy G
    I support this petition
  • 10 October 2015329. Erin P
    I support this petition
  • 01 October 2015328. Wayne C
    I support this petition
  • 30 September 2015327. Stephanie M
    I support this petition
  • 30 September 2015326. Ryan P
    great school and it shouldnt be closed down it has way too much history and a great program!
  • 30 September 2015325. Jennifer H
    I support this petition
  • 23 September 2015324. Christine S
    I support this petition

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Information

Lesa SkinnerBy:
HealthIn:
Petition target:
Ottawa Carleton District School Board

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