Hello to All Supporters:

The fifth public meeting for PCVS supporters was held Wednesday, February 1 with a good turnout and some great discussion.

A huge thank you to Alison Casey and her wonderful Fundraising team who raised more than $10,000 at the recent ART AUCTION held at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.  The setting was tasteful, the event beautifully organized, with wonderful treats and wine and stunning art.  Thank you to the artists who donated their work and to our supporters who purchased it.

The upcoming concert is sold out with the demand for tickets outpacing the supply.  At the Showplace concert you’ll see an impressive display of PCVS-related merchandise.

Spread the Net.  Jennifer DeBues and Collin Chepeka spoke about the final lap of the Spread The Net contest.  PCVS is very much in the running to win a visit from Rick Mercer.  We are enthusiastic supporters of this initiative, which is entirely PCVS-driven, as Mr. Mercer’s filming in the school would bring national attention to PCVS and, inadvertently, our campaign to save it.  There are donation boxes spread throughout the community.  If you cannot locate one, simply visit the school and make whatever donation you can afford.  The contest finishes at the end of February.

Ms Joan Green:  We are confident that we won the day(s)!  The members of the ARC committee met with Ms. Green Monday night (Jan. 16th); 11 of us, largely from the Co-ordinating Committee, presented 11 papers to Ms Green on Tuesday evening followed by a very good exchange of ideas and the Wednesday night open meeting was spectacular.  Thank you to 46 individuals who went to the mike with focused, clear, well researched and reasoned presentations.  And the audience provided a magnificent backdrop of respect and courtesy.

During her time spent in Peterborough Ms Green met for one hour with Daryl Bennett and Malcolm Hunt, the Director of City Planning, in a private meeting.

In the meanwhile what have we being doing?

Former principals Nancy Chesher, Shirl Delarue and I developed a program viability report to demonstrate to Ms Green that program viability for students is worsened, not improved by 2014-15 with the closure of PCVS.  We e-mailed this report to her on January 24th.  The report will be released to the editors of PTW and the Examiner followed by, we hope, its publication in our local papers.

School Climate Survey:  Nancy Chesher thanked the audience for the pressure put on the Board to release the results.  Mark Woolley expedited the ‘readability’ factor by graphing pertinent questions to allow readers to easily compare results school by school.  It’s on our website.

Michael Saunders, in addition, has been pulling out statements from the survey which will serve as “talking points” to be used as we go forward.

The results from the survey, published by KPR, support our position that PCVS is unique in its inclusive and welcoming environment. In this very unusual time of a (potential) closure of a school, students and their parents and guardians have a right to know the ‘climate’ of the school they may attend.

Communications:  We have launched an ambitious letter writing campaign.  We have, at present, approximately 60 writers who will be sending letters to the Premier with copies to appropriate Ministries, to MPP Jeff Leal, to Mayor Bennett, to the trustees (where appropriate) and to the Examiner and PTW.  We hope that one letter will reach a potential 18 possible audiences (I’m counting the trustees as 11).  These letters will be sent in a staged manner so as to provide regular communication over the next three weeks.

Contact with Havelock:  Bill Templeman has contacted Deputy-Mayor Andy Sharpe to offer advice as they prepare for the 2014 review of Norwood and Campbellford.  Nurturing some mutual support can only help both us and them.

Mr. Templeman also offered a brief slide show capturing nicely the range of approaches we might take as we continue our campaign.

CHEX TV:  a small group has formed since our Wednesday meeting to develop some televised ads which may well reach a broader or different audience.  That is in the works.

From the audience:

  • We need to be a presence at future board meetings.
  • Collin Chepeka asked members to e-mail Mr. Mangold regarding concerns about the transition planning, the rushed pace, the costs of proposals and the diminishing importance given to students in this process.
  • Supporters may wish to e-mail the TAS principal, Ms. Annie Johnston regarding ensuring that our students — some more than others — will be safe at TAS.  (I have worked with Annie Johnston and found her to be extremely warm, student-oriented and positive in outlook
  • We should investigate stronger links with other communities who are undergoing similar reviews, with similar unsatisfactory outcomes
  • Every supporter can make a difference with every person you speak with.  Some of the biggest issues surrounding our situation have application well beyond our school and community.  Spread the Word.

My most sincere and endless thanks for your on-going support, efforts and ideas.

Joanne Brown:  Communications Committee Chair

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