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June 18, 2012 Update:
We were asked by a group of parents working with the board on various Baythorn-related issues to post the following:
In April, after the York Region District School Board approved an amended version of Policy 316, Ken Thurston, the YRDSB’s Director of Education used his blog to highlight his understanding of what the policy does:
“The policy honours the historical presence of the Arts Program at Baythorn Public School and has protected it. Further, a joint committee of the Board and representatives of the Baythorn Arts community will be struck with a mandate to review the selection process for the arts program and provide recommendations to ensure it is fair and equitable. The Board will also be exploring ways our system can learn from the success of the arts program at Baythorn Public School; including identifying how we can expand integrated arts education in schools across the region.”
In late April, the Board created a committee of Baythorn parents and staff to provide recommendations on 1) the acceptance process for entry to the program and 2) ways that the best practices of the Arts@Baythorn program can be shared with other schools which may be interested in a focus on the arts. This committee has now met twice, first to agree on the charter for its work and most recently to hear the voices and opinions of Baythorn teachers. Based on the teachers’ input, we believe that the Board has a better understanding of our contention that the admission process to the Arts@Baythorn was never structured as an “audition” and that it has always been equitable. The committee will now deliberate on some other admission issues (e.g. why the assessments take place at Baythorn Public School, why they take place on the weekend, etc.) In the fall, the committee will be surveying parents, teachers and other interested stakeholders on both admission issues and how to replicate Baythorn’s success We remain hopeful that the Board will continue to demonstrate tangible commitment to the ongoing success of the Arts@Baythorn program in its current form, and we’ll be updating you as the committee’s work continues.
We will continue to post items related to this issue as they come up. Meanwhile, you may also want to check out the Society for Quality Education. They are working hard to help preserve quality education and choice in Canada:
Thank you for visiting.