Overcrowding concerns resurface at Herbert Spencer

A proposal that would increase the student population at overcrowded Herbert Spencer has prompted some frustrated Spencer parents to start an online petition.

The proposal would see a second Early French Immersion kindergarten class added this September with 19 of its 22 students coming from outside the Herbert Spencer catchment area.

As the petition preamble states, “the current students of Herbert Spencer Elementary School already have limited and inadequate access to the resources and educational experiences expected from a neighbourhood community school.”

Moreover, three modular classrooms have recently been added to the site which has further reduced the play area available for students.

The sponsors of the petition hope to provide the school district and the board “with a mandate to avoid further over-populating” of Herbert Spencer and to “use the existing facility resources for the benefit of the community and the majority of our students.”

Facility issues are certainly not new to the New Westminster school district, and this one is no exception.

For those who are interested in this issue, the text of the petition is posted below:

Stop Over-Populating Herbert Spencer Elementary School

The Petition

Please note that this petition is not intended to be a condemnation of our school district’s Program of Choice tracts, but rather the issue of unnecessarily over-populating Herbert Spencer Elementary School.

Premise Behind Petition

This petition is to provide our School District and Board of Trustees with a mandate to avoid further over-populating Herbert Spencer Elementary School and use the existing facility resources for the benefit of the community and the majority of our students.

The New Westminster School District Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to add an additional full class of students to Herbert Spencer Elementary School in September of 2011. This additional “One-Time” 2nd Early French Immersion Kindergarten Class of 22 would consist of 19 students from outside the normal Herbert Spencer Elementary School neighbourhood catchment. Adding 19 more students, who could be supported by the community schools in the neighbourhoods where they live, will adversely affect access and availability to our community school’s facilities and resources for its existing students and our children.

The current students of Herbert Spencer Elementary School already have limited and inadequate access to the resources and educational experiences expected from a neighbourhood community school, as well as those that are actually mandated by the Ministry of Education. Adding more students to the Herbert Spencer Elementary School site unnecessarily, which already has not been constructed or intended to hold even the current population it has (i.e. the modular buildings taking up a large portion of the play area), will further reduce our children’s access to the limited resources and learning opportunities.

By signing this petition, I attest that;

I do not support the proposal to further increase the student population at Herbert Spencer Elementary School, due to the establishment of a 2nd Early French Immersion Kindergarten Class from which the majority of students reside outside the normal Herbert Spencer Elementary School neighbourhood catchment. I request that Herbert Spencer Elementary School’s facilities and resources be used to provide the needed and necessary educational and community services that our families require, such as; more uncongested playground space, additional gymnasium and physical recreation space and time, increased computer lab access and availability, restoration of onsite before and after school child care, and a school district that focuses on the needs and best interests of ALL of its students.

5 thoughts on “Overcrowding concerns resurface at Herbert Spencer

  1. How I wish parents had started a petition to request the board stop the overcrowding situation at Tweeds. They have to hold two lunches so that all the kids have a chance to use the gym and library. Though, I find it a little strange that the Herbert Spencer parents don’t want out of catchment kids to attend their school when programs of choice are not considered catchment programs. Just look at the numbers of out of catchment kids attending EFI and Montessori at Tweeds – nearly half the enrollment in these programs is out of catchment! Many would be Herbert Spencer, John Robson and Lord Kelvin catchment kids attend Tweeds and you don’t see our school saying stay out! All the same, I guess I get why they want to keep their enrollment down given the modulars now sitting on the tennis courts. As it is, the school was built for what seems like incorrect projections of students. More of the same sd40 screwups.

  2. Over-populating Spencer was in the cards the day they put the EFI program there. Anyone with a brain could see this coming and many did (all except for the trustees of the day). Herbert Spencer was not built to house the number of students crushing in on it.

    And unlike Tweedsmuir with its relatively large site, Spencer has one of the smallest sites in the district (now reduced even further by the perma-porties on the site).

    They even had to put the parking undergroud to try and save open play space on the site when they built the new school back in the 80’s. So much for that now with the perma-porties.

    The school was built as a neighbourhood school not as a program of choice magnet school. If the district wants to house programs of choice they should be put where space actually exists and not where it doesn’t.

  3. Learning French and getting my child into Spencer is more important than anything. Why can’t they move the neighbourhood kids out of Spencer to make room for kids like mine who want to learn French. This should be an obvious solution. I don’t want my child to grow up like me not knowing how to speak French.

Leave a Reply to O.K.B. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>