Concerned Parents of Area V Mandarin Bilingual Program 关切第五区普通话双语课程的家长
This iPetition has been created to unite the messaging of concerned parents and students currently attending the Midnapore Mandarin Bilingual program. Please ONLY sign this petition if your child is CURRENTLY attending the Midnapore program. Both parents can sign. The names and emails you provide may be forwarded to the addressed CBE recipients as proof of signature. This letter and supporting signatures will be delivered to CBE Representatives (listed below) at 8:30am on Tuesday October 18th, 2016. Letter is translated into Mandarin Chinese below.
Concerned Parents of Area V Mandarin Bilingual Program
October 16, 2016
Sydney Smith Director, Area V
Carrie Edwards Director, Planning and Transportation
Dear Ms. Smith and Ms. Edwards:
The Mandarin Bilingual Program at Midnapore School began in 2011 with the communicated intent that the program would expand year by year to become a Kindergarten to Grade 6 program. The CBE purports to value this program and identifies it as one that:
- Expands the intellect;
- Enhances self esteem;
- Strengthens English literacy skills,
- Is a gateway to International opportunities; and
- Celebrates and integrates Chinese and Canadian cultural traditions.
Each year at open houses held to provide information and attract students to this program, it was communicated that while there had not yet been a location identified to house the middle/junior high portion of the program in the south, a location in the south would be determined at a time closer to when the oldest children in the program reached grade 6.
A letter dated May 6, 2015 advised parents that a discussion regarding future accommodation plans for the middle/junior high years for those students attending the Mandarin Bilingual program at Midnapore school would begin in the fall of 2015. That discussion never happened. Instead, a subsequent letter dated June 2, 2016 advised parents that engagement was delayed until the fall of 2016 due to the possibilities that might arise as new schools open across the system.
Further the Three-Year System Student Accommodation Plan 2016-2019 dated June 21, 2016, with respect to the Mandarin Bilingual program in Area V, indicated the schools involved were “Midnapore and others to be determined”, described the issue as “[e]nrolment in Mandarin Bilingual is growing. There is a need to monitor enrolment and identify a south middle and/or junior high school site in the future” and stated “[d]iscussions with stakeholders to begin the fall of 2016. An Expression of interest will be held to determine student desire for Mandarin Bilingual in Grade 7.”
Subsequently a letter dated September 29, 2016 advised parents that Area IV and V students were designated to Colonel Irvine School for the Mandarin Bilingual program, that the CBE was facing staffing constraints for the Mandarin Bilingual program and that the decision had been made to continue to provide programming through a single site only for middle/junior high students and that currently that program (Colonel Irvine) is located in the northwest community of Highwood (emphasis added). The letter goes on to state that the CBE will “[work] with parents from the Midnapore Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual program and will involve them in public engagements throughout the fall of 2016” and will continue to keep parents informed about the “location for the single site Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual program” and that updates and engagement work would be provided on the CBE website.
The Calgary Board of Education says that it promotes principles of meaningful engagement and dialogue. The CBE’s publication “Discover Dialogue” speaks of a “dialogue process” and dialogue as “engaging people in conversations about decisions that may affect them, their family and their community”. The CBE says this process is about “listening and communicating in an open, clear and honest way” and follows international standards for “effective community engagement” that ultimately helps the CBE make the best decisions for students.
The CBE sites its guiding principles as follows:
- being accountable for and following through on its commitments with outcomes and actions being consistent with commitments made early in the process;
- having honest, clear communication (i.e. communication that is candid and forthright);
- being inclusive of all voices (i.e. that community capabilities and preferences for engagement and communication are reasonably accommodated and barriers addressed wherever possible);
- having mutual respect for all participants;
- being responsive and committed to hearing and understanding the views of stakeholders;
Parents of the Mandarin Bilingual program at Midnapore School fail to see how any of this has occurred with respect to a middle/junior high program in the south since, as stated in the CBE’s September 29, 2016 letter, the decision has been made for the middle/junior high student Mandarin Bilingual programming to be located in the north, rather than a program in the south as previously communicated.
The CBE says that “community engagement provides an important opportunity for those impacted by a decision to express their concerns, ideas and aspirations”. It further says that it knows it makes better decisions for its students and staff when it listens and work together to solve problems and find solutions. The Chief Superintendent’s message says that our voices matter and that the CBE is committed to ensuring we have an opportunity to be heard and participate in decisions that affect us.
We also fail to see any community engagement regarding the location of a middle/junior high program in the south. We understand that two parent representatives from Midnapore were invited to come to an Area I and II community liaison meeting to provide input on scenarios involving the future of a single site middle/junior high program in the northwest (Colonel Irvine versus Colonel Macleod location), and that broader consultation is planned to begin shortly on the location of the single program in the northwest. We are also aware that a similar Area V community liaison meeting occurred, however no Midnapore Elementary parent representatives were invited to attend this meeting; in fact, Midnapore Elementary is not even mentioned in the Area V panning scenarios as an affected school, and no scenarios regarding Midnapore Elementary are being discussed as part of the Area V consultation.
This engagement is flawed, and fails to engage us on the most important point to us being the location of a middle/junior high program in the south. Also, why isn’t Midnapore Elementary school included in the Area V scenarios being discussed? We see this as another example of the failure to consult and engage our community.
As you may appreciate, this failure to consult and engage with our community is quite upsetting and has raised a number of questions in the minds of parents, including: Where is Midnapore’s voice? Where is the engagement? Where is the dialogue? Why have previous promises regarding a middle/junior high school in the south been disregarded? The CBE’s approach on this issue has us feeling as though Midnapore parents have been completely overlooked, or worse, ignored and disregarded, despite the CBE’s earlier commitments around planning and engagement and communication of a Mandarin Bilingual program in the south.
Separate and apart from the lack of consultation and engagement, and not to minimize that failure, we also have a number of concerns regarding the single program location in the northwest: Is this a temporary or permanent decision? What grades are impacted? What travel times are students expected to endure, particularly given traffic and weather difficulties, and at what age? Is this realistic, or safe? These are serious concerns for parents and students and have a direct impact on their lives and decisions, including whether to continue in the present grades in the Mandarin Bilingual program at Midnapore Elemenatary.
Midnapore parents deserve better communication and consultation, and we want to immediately be part of a meaningful dialogue about the location of middle/junior high Mandarin Bilingual programming in Area V.
Parents with children in the Midnapore Mandarin bilingual program are requesting:
• Consultation meetings be held in Area V at Midnapore School.
• Correspondence with parents, both written and oral, be delivered in Mandarin and English.
• The proposed scenarios be redrawn with consideration to the Midnapore Mandarin bilingual program and a South based program.
Concerned Parents of Area V Mandarin Bilingual Program
(signed by ____________ parents). List available upon request.
cc: David Stevenson, Chief Superintendent of Schools
cc: Amber Stewart, School Trustee, Wards 12 & 14
cc: Brant Parker, Director, Area I
cc: Darlene Unruh, Director, Area II
cc: Jean Hugill, Principal
此外，2016年6月21日，与第五区的普通话双语课程相关的2016年 - 2016年的三年制学生宿舍计划，其中指出所参与学校为“Midnapore和其他待确定的学校”，并说明此议案“ 普通话双语的招生正在增长。有必要确认入学率，并确定未来在中南部的中学和/或初中学校“，也声明”与相关者的讨论将于2016年秋季开始。将举行意愿的表达，以确定7年级的普通话双语有意愿的学生人数。”
随后，2016年9月29日的一封信告诉家长，第四区和第五区的学生被指定参与 Colonel Irvine School的普通话双语课程，因为CBE正面临普通话双语课程的人员限制，并已经作出该决定以透过单一地点课程继续提供只给中学/初中学生的课程，而目前该课程（Colonel Irvine）位于Highwood的西北社区的（特别强调）。该信函在下面继续说道，CBE将与来自 Midnapore 中文（普通话）双语计划的家长“合作”，并将在2016年秋季让他们进行公共参与，并将继续让家长了解“单一地点汉语（普通话）双语计划的地点”，并将在CBE网站上提供提供参与工作的更新消息
卡尔加里教育委员会说，委员会推动有意义的参与和对话的原则。 CBE的出版物“发现对话（Discover Dialogue）”提到“对话过程”，提及对话是“让人们参与关于可能影响他们的家庭和他们的社区的决定的对话”。 CBE说这个过程是“以开放，清晰和诚实的方式倾听和沟通”，并遵循“有效的社区参与”的国际标准，最终有助于CBE为学生做出最好的决定。
CBE说，“社区参与为受决策影响的人们提供了一个重要机会，表达他们的关切，想法和愿望。CBE也更进一步说到，CBE知道，当CBE倾听并合作解决问题，一起找到解决方案时，CBE可以为学生和其工作人员，做出更好的决定。总督学（The Chief Superintendent）的信息说，我们的声音很重要，CBE致力于确保我们有机会让我们的声音被听到，并参与影响我们的决定。
我们也没有看到任何社区参与在南部的中学/初中高级计划的位置决定上。我们得知，来自Midnapore的两位家长代表被邀请参加第一区和第二区社区联络会议，为未来西北地区（ColonelIrvine 与Macleod Colonel Macleod）的单一地点中学/初中课程的情况提供意见，并计划在短期内就西北地区单一课程的位置开展更广泛的协商。我们也知道，有类似的第五区社区联络会议举行，但没有 Midnapore 小学家长代表受邀参加这次会议；事实上，在第五区的V情景计划中， Midnapore甚至没有被提及作为受影响的学校，也没有计划将Midnapore 小学作为第五区咨询的一部分进行讨论。