Central high parents hold a big silent auction, listen to some really good vocals and generally enjoy themselves. And they raised $14,000

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 14, 2016



They are doing the best they can. Lawn signs are being handed out; T-shirts are being sold, petitions signed and last night they held a Silent Auction at Joe Dogs – these people want to keep Central high school open.


Dania Thurman, singing up a storm at the Central high Silent Auction at Joe Dogs.

They have handed out 850 signs and placed an order for another 500.

The Silent Auction raised $14,000


There was a very impressive Silent Auction offering – they raised $14,000 Is that a war chest?

Many just cannot understand why the school board has targeted their school for possible closure. For many this is their first time they have put their toe into the waters of local politics – some are finding it intimidating other think they might like to run for public office.

There are small splinter groups doing research and looking for answers to the questions raised by the Director of Education – what does he do about the 1800 empty classroom seats in the city’s seven high schools.

The #central strong crowd appreciates that the problem and thinks it exists because the boards planning department botched the job they are supposed to have done.


Reconsidering a bid during th Silent Auction

Those 1800 empty seats didn’t just pop up – the demographics of the city have been pretty stable, if anything there has been an increase in the number of people in the Alton community that were not predicted – the result of several families living in the same house. That pushed the Hayden high school numbers to 115% of the OTG – which is the number of seats a school was built to accommodate.

They have a problem with the way the process has gone so far. These parents have questions and feel that they have yet to have a real opportunity to have it out with the senior staff in a public setting. And, the senior people at the board have been ducking the occasions when they could be upfront and out-front with the parents.

The process has become a phrase that sticks in the craw of many parents – they feel they are being manipulated and want to be heard.


Lynn Crosby on the left looking over an item on the Silent auction tables.

There are all kinds of solutions being tossed around – change the boundaries – realign the elementary schools that feed into the different high schools are just a few of the solutions parents are talking about. Many, and these are people with first class professional credentials, think there is a solution that is better for the board of education and a better solution for the city and the parents in the community.

There are those who are close to flaming mad but the community seems to have managed to keep them under control.

With data from the first meeting in hand the parents from Central high are able to dig in and start crafting the solutions that will get sent to the PARC.

And where do the trustees stand in all this? There are some of the Burlington trustees who are way in over their heads – the voters in Burlington are going to think a lot differently about who they elect as school board trustees in 2018. Turns out it is an important job – most people have not seen it that way.

Some are wondering just how their ideas are going to get to the PARC and how the PARC is going to respond. Will there be a dialogue between the PARC and the parents or will it be up to the school representatives to discuss ideas with the parents.


Members of the Program Accommodation Review (PAR) committee holding a quickie meeting after the first public meeting last week.

The PARC committee meetings are open to the public – no delegations apparently – but given who Central high has representing them – expect ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward to come up with some innovative thoughts on a better way to work through the issues.

Interesting political gambit here as well. Meed Ward was chosen by the parents to represent their interests.
The city was invited to send a representative and chose the city manager.

Should Meed Ward run for the Office of the Mayor and win – she will then work with James Ridge on a day to day basis running the city. And should Med Ward win – it will be run a lot differently than it has in the past 10 years. Is the current city manager up to that task?

It will be interesting to see how that works out.

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2 comments to Central high parents hold a big silent auction, listen to some really good vocals and generally enjoy themselves. And they raised $14,000

  • Central Strong

    This issue is much broader than you think. The current recommendation is to close two schools, one in the north and one in the south. In the north two schools actually sit at 50% capacity, while the other one is well over 100%. This problem was largely brought on by the Board changing boundries and taking most of the Pearson population and sending them all the way to Hayden. Now they are recommending closing Pearson; quite the move after taking their students in the first place. In the south, one school is close to 50% capacity (Bateman) and that is NOT the the school being recommended to close. Central has been recommended to close despite the fact that we have almost 900 students currently enrolled. Central is also projected to GROW in numbers. Central has a healthy program offering, both extra curriculars as well as course selection. Central is not the problem yet the Board wants to use our students to fix their problem. According to the director of education, uprooting 900 students and splitting them down the middle, sending them to two separate schools outside their community on buses, is the best option they could find with the information they had at the time. Currently only 5 students qualify for busing at Central. The Central Strong community thinks their are better options and we will prove there are better options.

  • craig

    It seems all agree 1800 spots too many and the bulk are south of the QEW so what solution is there other than close some school or schools south of the QEW as parents north ofQEW don’t want kids bused to schools south that would be crazy? Do I have the facts wrong here? I think it is irrelevant that the board knew of the problem before this as you can’t change the past we are where we are how do we move ahead. I don’t think the province will change it’s methhods for Burlington so it will need be addressed at Board of Ed level me thinks?