Notice of Motion: Introduction of a Catchment Area for Archbishop MacDonald High School
This is a Notice of Motion that I put forth at the September 9, 2014 public board meeting:
Considering that we are a publicly funded, Catholic Christian district, I move that our Administration create a catchment area around Archbishop MacDonald and amend their entrance requirements to allow Catholic students who reside in nearby communities to attend their neighbourhood high school.
Because Archbishop MacDonald lacks a catchment area and requires a 75% average for students to attend their regular English program and a 65% average to attend their French Immersion program, not all Catholic students from nearby neighbourhoods can attend their neighbourhood high school. Some of the communities surrounding Archbishop MacDonald have a higher than average number of low income families whose children must take costly public transportation ($55/month) to attend Catholic high school far from home.
It is interesting to note that EPSB attempted to create entrance requirements for all students attending Victoria School for the Arts – even those students residing in the communities surrounding the school. This plan was nixed at a public board meeting in January 2013 due to an outcry from the surrounding downtown communities which agreed that their students ought to have access to their community high school.
Update: I learned at the October 14, 2014 public board meeting that this issue will be discussed at our Annual School Review on November 27, 2014. This meeting is not a public meeting, occurring behind closed doors at the district office. I will request that the content of our discussion be permitted to be reported to the public. In relation to this, I will also be requesting that enrollment data, school utilization rates, amount of deferred maintenance etc. for each school be posted on our website just as EPSB does on their website.