Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 31, 2002
Parents rally to save OLP school
Board decides on three schools' closure April 28
By RENATO GANDIA
"I wonder how the opinions and feelings expressed tonight will be translated and how the board will be asked to make a decision."
- Diane David
Diane David, chair of the school council of St. Vincent, said she was not satisfied with the response of the administration when she asked about the district's long-term plan on school closure.
"I didn't hear (Mr. Ripley) say that there was a long-term plan. It seems to me that we're just it."
David said that what can happen is a new school is built and when the community declines in number 10 years down the road, the district will build another new school and close an established school.
"We're leaving a community bereft of an important pillar of what makes a community," she stressed.
"I appreciate that the board is keeping an open mind, but I wonder how the opinions and feelings expressed tonight will be translated and how the board will be asked to make a decision."
Cathy Roskell, chair of Our Lady of Peace School council, believes they made "a very good case for keeping our school open. I think that parents and community members alike have came forward with many good suggestions. We're very positive right now."
Some of the suggestions included adding the international baccalaureate program in the primary grades and offering a free school bus to students from communities in outlying areas west of the city.
"One of the strongest points is that we are the only Catholic elementary school in this end of town," Roskell said. "I think that our commitment to the Catholic community, the way we bear our Catholic identity and our link with the Holy Spirit Church are very important and very unique."
All members of the board of trustees were present at the consultation as were senior administrators.
If Our Lady of Peace closes, children living west of 156th Street will be bused free for three years to Annunciation School, while those east of 156th Street will be bused to St. Vincent School.
Another consultation for a third school on the chopping block is slated March 27 at St. Jerome's School. St. Patrick's School had a consultation on March 20. The school board will vote whether to close the three schools on April 28.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.