Bradner is a school steeped in tradition, with roots reaching into the late 1800's. Bradner is a community school and many of past students still live and work in the area, sharing a common bond and continue the generations of Bradner pupils by having their children attend Bradner.
Bradner follows many traditions - preparing our locals children for the future with grass-roots upbringing in a community that supports each other, where everyone knows each other, families help one another, lifetime friendships are nurtured and maintained, rural life is the way of life and has been for generations. It takes a village to raise a child - author unknown which focuses on the core fact that there is a measurable impact on children when individuals and groups outside the family, for better or worse, affect a child's well-being.
With the proposed rural school grade re-configuration plan the school board is in a win win situation - The Bradner Barker has received inside information that the Abbotsford School District's long term goal is to close rural schools, so they have brought a short notice re-configuration plan and parents are reacting by withdrawing their children, surveys are being completed now at all schools to show the loss of major student numbers of current grade 5's AND their younger siblings... This news was sprung on parents on November 24th, 2015 and if it goes through will take effect September 2016 - leaving parents with Grade 5 children, scrambling to make a decision.
"As a parent, I'm damned if we go along with this plan - sending our children to 'layovers' at Middle Schools that studies show negatively impact children's academic achievements and emotional well being, AND damned if I don't go along with it - by leaving our rural K-7's and severely impacting student numbers! I am being forced into a choice between my COMMUNITY and my Kids"! Heather Walsh
Bradner is not alone. The schools slated are: Aberdeen, Bradner, Mt. Lehman, Ross, Barrowtown and Upper Sumas elementary schools. Our rural schools need community support. Please help in any way you can and join the Facebook group Save our K-7 Schools.
The Abbotsford School Board posted this note on their website about the plan - The Board of Education is considering the reconfiguration of remaining grade K-7 elementary schools in the district to K-5. The six elementary schools are: Barrowtown and Upper Sumas on the east side of the district; Aberdeen, Bradner, Mt. Lehman, and Ross on the west side. In addition, the Board will consider realigning the catchment area for Barrowtown and Upper Sumas to be part of the Abbotsford Middle and Secondary school catchments. If approved, this would take effect in the 2016-17 school year. The Board will conduct a consultation process including January public information meetings as well as establish other channels for providing feedback. The Board has tentatively scheduled consideration of the reconfiguration at their regular meeting on February 23, 2016.
The district is currently completing revisions to its Long Term Facility Plan which includes a comprehensive review of school catchment and demographic trends. Secretary-Treasurer Ray Velestuk reported to the Board at the November 24th, 2015 regular meeting that throughout the review, the inconsistency of elementary school grade configurations (i.e. most elementary schools are grades K-5; some are grades K-7; middle schools are grades 6-8) has been identified as contributing to ongoing capacity and utilization challenges at some elementary and middle schools...
Letter to parents/guardians of Barrowtown & Upper Sumas elementary schools
Letter to parents/guardians of Aberdeen, Bradner, Mt. Lehman and Ross elementary schools
Rhonda Jantz-Krahn, "The city of Abbotsford prides itself in naming our community "The City in the Country".
The notion of country being agriculture and open space. Along with that, "country" implies a way of living. A way of living in a community that is different from urban, inner city life. Many residents in Abbotsford have moved here because they want to raise their families in an environment that has that "country" feel. What brings communities together? Schools! What allows Abbotsford to pride itself in having country values? Schools! It is our country schools, Mt. Lehman, Bradner, Ross, Aberdene, Upper Sumas and Barrowtown that allow Abbotsford to maintain country values within a city. The K - 7 family settings allow for families to remain together for longer, have their children learn and practise "country" values and not be forced to grow up as quickly. These K - 7 schools help define Abbotsford and add to its unique "City within the Country" feel! They are treasures to keep. Treasures that help Abbotsford be the place people want to be".
Heather Walsh, "The sad thing about this move by the school board is that they are doing it on such a short timeline! Parents are needing to make decisions now for September and many are already jumping ship… They are enrolling their kids in MEI or traditional schools, cross-bounding to Langley, or homeschooling. If they wait their grade 5’s will end up in Eugene Reimer! I have a daughter in Grade 5 at Bradner… do I wait or register somewhere else?? At the Bradner PAC meeting last night we were told of the whispered master plan to centralize schools towards the city and increase capacity at these more city oriented schools…
Right now the school board is in a win win situation - their goal is to close rural schools, so bring on short notice re-configuration and parents react as they should for their children, schools loose major numbers of 6/7’s but also their younger siblings when parents withdraw them together…. our rural schools are at risk, more so than they ever have been before… Should I also move my boys, grade 1 and 4 along with their sister, my daughter, yes - for so many reasons…! I wonder where initiatives of "Abbots-forward” and "City in the Country” fit into this??
The middle school idea was a complete failure in Ontario, the stats are staggering. We don’t want it, they know it, but they are in essence making us choose between our kids and their wonderful elementary schools. Our choice to support our rural schools is being robbed from us"!
Please Help Us!
Please send letters from yourselves, businesses or whomever from all of the communities affected! (the more letters the better) contact info below and spread the word about the meetings, POST SIGNS, lets get all demographics there from the all communities attending - the meetings are:
Tuesday, January 19th, 7pm at Upper Sumas Elementary
Thursday, January 21st, 7pm at Mt. Lehman Elementary
Tuesday, January 26th, 7pm at Aberdeen Elementary
Tentative - Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016, consideration (decision) of the reconfiguration at their regular meeting at the DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION/SCHOOL BOARD OFFICE - 2790 Tims St, Abbotsford, BC V2T 4M7
Please send letters to:
Trustee, Kevin Godden, Superintendent’s assistant: Corissa_Stgeorge@sd34.bc.ca
Abbotsford School District Contacts can be found here.
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