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Notice of Motion: Introduction of a Catchment Area for Archbishop MacDonald High School

September 22, 2014

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.

Rationale:

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.

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