Monday, 30 March 2015

MAJOR Updates to Senior Admin Recommendations on Lorne Ave Closure Timeline

MAJOR Updates to Senior Admin Recommendations on Lorne Ave Closure Timeline:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ipKea5E7K0azBVTWh2TllTV1E/view?usp=sharing

At tomorrow night's TVDSB Board meeting, the Senior Admin will be recommending that Lorne Avenue Public School remain OPEN for one additional school year, closing at the end of June 2016.

This recommendation is based on the significant and numerous delays that have occurred with regards to the construction for the Bishop Townshend site, and based on input from parents about the delays.

Thank you to all parents and community members that have submitted/communicated your concerns to the TVDSB. This will significantly ease the transition for our students and families, and will also allow the city to utilize the additional time provided to ensure that a suitable use is found for the Lorne Ave site.

Included in this recommendation are the following points:
-Lorne Ave Remain open until end of June 2016.
-Students West of Adelaide be transferred to St. George's Public School as of Sept 2015.
-Adult ESL program and associated LINC Daycare be relocated effective Sept 2015.
-Consolidated Bishop Townshend site accept remaining Lorne Ave students effective Sept 2016.
YMCA daycare at Lorne Ave relocate to Bishop Townshend site once that program space is ready (based on previous construction estimates, this would be early 2016, though it may change with new construction timelines).


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Monday, 22 September 2014

We get by with a little help from our friends.

As you may or may not be aware, there are still potential school closures on the table in the TVDSB. Tomorrow, our friends and Lorne Ave supporters from AJ Baker in Kintore will have their voices heard at the TVDSB in a marathon public input session. Starting at 5:30pm, they will be standing up for their community school as we stood for ours. I ask that you please come out and stand beside them, as they did for us. It's time to stop needless and expensive school closures that cost tax payers, and children, while providing no benefits.

If you can't attend, and even if you can, I urge you to please email our trustees (Matt Reid and Peter Jaffe) to let them know that their constituents support AJ Baker, and don't want their community and kids to have to suffer as ours will when Lorne Ave closes next year.


m.reid@tvdsb.on.ca
p.jaffe@tvdsb.on.ca



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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Lorne Ave Parent Blocked From Committee



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lorne Avenue Parent, supporter and School Council Co-Chair Scott Maclean has been blocked from participating in the design committee for the school amalgamation at the Bishop Townshend P.S. site.

Despite volunteering to represent the Lorne Avenue parent community, SaveLorneAve.ca creator Scott Maclean has been told by the TVDSB that he is not welcome to be part of the design process for the school addition at Bishop Townshend. When asked who the TVDSB had selected as a parent rep, Superintendent Sheila Powell responded:
"There will not be a parent representative from Lorne Avenue Public School on the committee."

Pressed by Mr. Maclean, local Trustees sought answers from Board employees, and TVDSB Administrators revealed that they would only accept a less vocal representative from the Lorne Avenue community, and would not permit Mr. Maclean to partake in the process to help ensure a suitable facility for the merged student populations.

As a result of last minute arrangements from the Lorne Avenue School Community, another willing parent volunteer has stepped forward to fill the roll of parent rep on the Design Committee.

Requests for clarification regarding the decision by TVDSB Administration have so far gone unanswered.

This latest act by the TVDSB Administration clearly shows their lack of transparency and unwillingness to engage with parents of Lorne Avenue, and their continued attempts to eliminate the involvement of proactive volunteers interested in maximizing educational outcomes for students.


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Judy Bryant NDP to speak at Lorne Ave Thursday

NDP Candidate for London North Centre, Judy Bryant, will be stopping at Lorne Avenue P.S. this Thursday to speak about the NDP platform to establish an Open Schools Fund.

"– An NDP government will establish an Open Schools Fund to help keep local schools open. With $60 million in annual support, school boards and communities will be able to transform more local schools into community hubs. School boards will be able to apply for funding to help keep schools threatened with closure open, make necessary renovations, and repurpose under-utilized space for other community uses. Schools can also apply to the fund to increase free and low-fee access for non-profit community groups. An NDP government will also provide additional capital funding for the education sector of $450 million over three years."

Judy was a member of the ARC that recommended that all schools in our review remain open. Lorne Avenue P.S. supporters will be sure to ask plenty of questions about how this plan fits with the efforts of Old East Village to preserve our community school.

Thursday June 5, 2015
3:30pm
In front of Lorne Avenue P.S.


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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner to speak at Lorne Ave Today!


Local Green Party of Ontario Candidate Kevin Labonte (London North Centre) has added his voice to ours, and is bringing the leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Mike Schreiner, to Lorne Avenue Public School today at 4pm to talk about school closures, and their call for change in the Ontario Education system.

No matter your political stripe, come out today and support Lorne Avenue.

Our fight is far from over.
Together we can still Save Lorne Ave


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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

CJBK Radio Interviews -Apr 30, 2014

http://www.cjbk.com/LondonMorning.aspx



Scott Maclean -Lorne Avenue School Collaborative
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ipKea5E7K0X3hCUGdiU0VqVHc/edit?usp=sharing

Ruth Tisdale -TVDSB Trustee Chair
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ipKea5E7K0NEgtSUtlYjN3aW8/edit?usp=sharing

Joe Fontana -City of London Mayor
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ipKea5E7K0UGVBYkNWYkl6VDA/edit?usp=sharing


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Open Letter from a Bishop Townshend Parent

Open Letter to the Thames Valley District School Board, Premier Wynne, Mpp Mattews etc.

30 April 2014 at 12:03
My name is Maureen; I am a student at Fanshawe College entering my 3rd year in the new Early Childhood Leadership Degree program being offered at 3 institutions in Ontario. My program is a specialized human development, research based, and professional degree program to support early childhood education. My understanding of why this program was created was because the Ontario

London Mayor Fontana Requests Extension

London Mayor, Joe Fontana has sent a formal request to the TVDSB Trustees urging them to extend the negotiation deadline for the purchase of surplus space at Lorne Avenue Public School.

---------------------------------
Office of the Mayor

Media Release


Mayor Sends Request to School Board Trustees


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

For Immediate Release:

Mayor Fontana today issued a letter of request to the trustees of the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB). He asked for a 30 day extension of the negotiation period regarding the sale (in part) of Lorne Ave Public School to the City of London.

Mayor Fontana feels the TVDSB and the City of London have invested significant effort, on behalf of the Lorne Ave families and the greater community, and in doing so have brought creative thinking and cooperative measures to the table. He said, “I believe we are very close to finding a workable solution but we need more time. This is when the TVDSB and the City need to be strong and demonstrate a full commitment to our public mandates of serving our citizens. We must proceed in a cooperative and progressive manner and leave no stone unturned.”

The Mayor’s letter noted there were offers on the table and negotiations that could continue. He urged trustees to consider leaving the door open so all parties may find a positive solution.

“We owe it to the children, families, the neighbourhood and our city. In doing so we will exhibit a resourcefulness that might well be emulated across the province.”

The letter also contained a request for a meeting of all key participants within the coming week.

-30-

Contact: Jen Buchanan 226- 919-9025


---------------------------------

With the release of this latest release, we urge you to contact the Thames Valley District School Board Trustees and tell them to extend the deadline and negotiate in good faith with the city to close the gap and Save Lorne Ave from closure.

We firmly believe that keeping Lorne Avenue Open is in the best interests of the Students, City, School Board, Taxpayers, and the Community.

Help us to retain a valuable asset for all involved.

Email all of the trustees with a single click HERE.

Feel free to copy and paste the letter below.

--------------------------------
Dear Trustees,
In solidarity with the latest request from the Mayor's office of London, we ask that you please support an extension of the deadline for Lorne Avenue negotiations so that every effort can be made to ensure a positive outcome for all involved parties.

Lorne Avenue Public School is an important asset, not only to the TVDSB, but to students, the community, taxpayers, and the City of London. It's value comes not merely as a building, but as a community and educational resource for the growing student population of London's core.

We trust that as our elected officials, you have our best interests at heart, and will work in good faith to ensure that all avenues for a positive outcome are fully explored, including continuing negotiations with the City of London.

Thank you

--------------------------------

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

NOTICE TO LORNE AVE PARENTS

UPDATED:
You have likely seen a great deal of media coverage surrounding the future of Lorne Avenue Public School in the last couple days. The member of SaveLorneAve and the Lorne Avenue School Collaborative would like you to know that we have not given up on the school.


Some important points:
  • Next TVDSB Board Meeting -Tues. May 13, 2014 (please join us at the Board for this meeting).
  • Lorne Avenue P.S. will remain in full operation until at least the end of June 2015 (no matter the vote outcome).
  • Full-Day Kindergarten is coming to Lorne Avenue P.S. This September.
  • The Lorne Avenue Collaborative continues to fight for the future of the school. We will need your help, and will call upon you soon.
  • More updates will be posted as they are available.



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Lorne Ave In The News - Apr 29, 2014

CJBK News Talk 1290
http://www.cjbk.com/local-news/2014/04/29/lorne-ave-school-deadline-wednesday

AM980 News
http://www.am980.ca/2014/04/29/17591/

London Community News
http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/news-story/4490439-mayor-asks-education-minister-to-save-lorne-ave-school/

Blackburn News
http://blackburnnews.com/london/2014/04/29/dark-fate-for-beloved-london-school/

London Free Press
http://www.lfpress.com/2014/04/29/group-accuses-school-board-of-lorne-ave-sabotage

Metro London
http://metronews.ca/news/london/1017446/axe-looms-over-londons-lorne-avenue-public-school/

CTV London
http://london.ctvnews.ca/little-hope-left-to-save-lorne-avenue-public-school-1.1797932

More to come...




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TVDSB Issues Press Release

The TVDSB has today issued a press release blaming the City of London for not meeting their unreasonable demands for partnerships in Lorne Avenue.

The TVDSB statements claiming that the expensive provisions are to ensure student safety are seen by many as a poor excuse to forward a misguided agenda of school closures. While the issues surrounding safety are important, these kinds of conditions have strangely been completely absent from the current Adult ESL program use of Lorne Avenue, the SCIP office uses of the school, and both daycares that currently reside in the school. It should be noted that the proposed organizations for the school fall directly in line with a safe educational environment, and should require no physical or environmental separations from the core Elementary Population, and in fact would work well in concert with that current environment.

Find the TVDSB Press Release below:
PDF Version


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Mayor Fontant calls upon Minister of Education to Save Lorne Ave.

London Mayor, Joe Fontana has issued a strong written recommendation to the Minister of Education and local MPPs. Calling upon the Minister Sandals to
"impose a 'smart moratorium' on school closures to provide your Ministry, school boards and local governments some time to work together to develop policies that recognize the holistic role of schools within our communities, and to ensure school boards and local governments can work  together on decisions regarding community education infrastructure."


Find the entire text here:
PDF Version


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Mayor Fontana Press Release Apr 29, 2014

Mayor Fontana has released a statement today with regards to the negotiations for the use of space at Lorne Avenue Public School with the TVDSB.

--------------------------------------------------


New Release
City of London
Tuesday April 29, 2014
City offer to purchase Lorne Ave. Public School rejected by TVDSB

The City of London has been unable to come to a deal with the Thames Valley District School Board in spite of the City offering to purchase a portion of the Lorne Ave. Public School.
The School Board is expected to vote soon whether to close the school effective June 2015.
Mayor Joe Fontana is not pleased with the outcome of recent negotiations. “We made a formal offer to buy the surplus portion of the building. We agreed to open a Family Centre. We sought out community partners to assist us and locate there but, in the end, the ever increasing costs required by the Board made a deal untenable.
“The school remains a key component in the well-being of the neighbourhood,” the Mayor said. “We found four potential community partners who were willing to start the process and join with the City to keep the school open. But, again, the renovation costs the school board was demanding were astronomical. The City came to the table in good faith and ready to find a mutually beneficial solution.”
The Mayor has been directed by Council to send a letter to Education Minister Liz Sandals, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Deputy Premier Deb Matthews urging the Provincial Government find better ways to deal with the closure of schools, in whole or in part, that helps to protect neighbourhoods while still being fiscally prudent.
“The position of London, and many other municipal governments in Ontario, is that the current provincial regulations have a single-minded focus on education enrolment and do not give appropriate recognition to the role of school facilities such as Lorne Avenue Public School within their community, and as community hubs which benefit not just students but the entire community,” the Mayor said. “Often embedded in urban neighbourhoods, these schools play an important role in healthy and complete neighbourhoods for children and adults alike.”

Media contact:
Jennifer Buchanan

Executive Assistant
Mayor Fontana
226 919-9025

-----------------------------
PDF Version
-----------------------------


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Monday, 28 April 2014

Open Letter to TVDSB Administration & Trustees




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lorne Avenue School Collaborative

An Open Letter To the Thames Valley District School Board  Administration & Trustees

The Lorne Avenue School Collaborative has questions with regards to the negotiations that have occurred between the City of London and the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), and in particular, the responses from TVDSB Senior Staff to the City of London's Expression Of Interest to share the space.

As a precursor to the questions, we would like to make you aware of the following:
Members of the Lorne Avenue School Collaborative are aware of all of the content contained within the submissions to the City’s REOI`s and that each submission complied with the TVDSB criteria for partnerships and sharing space. The Lorne Avenue School Collaborative recruited the proponents and assisted them with questions about the process prior to them contacting the City of London. 

During the public Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) process, a figure of five million dollars and then six million dollars was mentioned by senior administration as the costs for renovations.  Subsequently, a figure of three times that amount was quoted to an earlier proponent. As a result, this proponent was then unable to consider sharing the space.

Throughout the ARC process we were struck by the inability and/or unwillingness of the TVDSB's Senior Administration to think creatively about solutions that would work in everyone’s interests, or seriously consider the proposals brought forward by the Accommodation Review Committee itself. They presented what appeared to us to be arbitrary reasons as to why each and every proposal tabled was not workable.

So, given that they have consistently refused to consider a “school within a school” or any other less costly solutions, these are our questions:


  1. The administrators who recommended closing the school were charged by the Trustees with the task of exploring partnership development to keep it open, yet to date have not returned to the Board with solutions. Given their lack of support for all solutions brought forward thus far, should we be hopeful that they worked constructively and creatively with the City to make it possible to share the school space? If so, how can this be verified?
  2. Since all negotiations have been held “in camera”, at what point in this process will the community be given access to some or all of the minutes of the discussions between the City and TVDSB? 
  3. Were you, our Trustees, given the opportunity to participate in the negotiations?
  4. Will you, our Trustees, be given the opportunity to review the staff report and all relevant documentation (including the draft proposals from the City of London) before it is tabled at the May TVDSB School Board meeting?
  5. Can we assume that the costs quoted to the City for renovations were reasonable, rational, and reflect a genuine effort to find a common solution?
  6. If the presented renovation costs are greater than previously quoted to earlier proponents, can we expect a detailed explanation for the discrepancies?
  7. If exorbitant renovations costs make it impossible for the City to proceed, will the school closing be portrayed by the TVDSB to be a result of the City’s inability to find and provide adequate funding?


We eagerly look forward to your responses to all of the above questions.
Kind Regards,


Lorne Avenue School Collaborative

Jennifer Diplock
oevcapresident@gmail.com
Scott Maclean
savelorneave@gmail.com
Greg Thompson
mwgang@gmail.com


-----------------------------------------------
PDF Version
-----------------------------------------------

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Time To Act Is NOW! Write to your Trustees TODAY! Save Lorne Ave.

The countdown is on. With only days remaining before the deadline, there are strong indications emerging that the TVDSB Senior Administration continues to place new roadblocks in the process to Save Lorne Ave. While the community and city have held up their end of the deal, the Senior Administration looks to be bargaining in bad faith yet again, while feeding misinformation to the trustees.

Every time the community has been asked to produce, we have, and every time we have met the requirements of the TVDSB Senior Administration, they change what it is that they desire. And in what has been said to be the final round where a decision is made on our school, they are at it again.

In November 2013, the TVDSB stated that despite the Ministry of Education directives for School Boards to secure partnerships in underutilized schools, they had no interest in "becoming landlords" to tenants, even though they currently hold that title at a number of facilities, including Lorne Ave. As hosts to existing family centres, daycares, ESL Programs, Student Mental Health organizations, and daily community group uses, the TVDSB is already well versed, practised, and embedded as landlords, which begs the question "why not continue be landlords to keep another asset?".

It should be known that right now, the city has tenants with interests exceeding the available space at the school; that those tenants all fit within the requirements set out by the Trustees, to be education-related, and school environment friendly; that they have demonstrated a past history of success in their areas, and that they are dedicated to being part of the Old East Village and School Community. In addition, the City of London continues to show their leadership in working to ensure the continued growth and viability of the city core, and continues to bargain in good faith with the School Board to ensure the continued sustainability of Lorne Ave for many years to come.

The Trustees opened the door for us, and have allowed the community the time we needed to work with our partners and bring a solid solution forward, and for that we thank them. We have put our trust in them, have heard their challenges, and have met or exceeded those challenges every time. We have built solutions that fit well within the framework that we were given, and now we look forward to them giving us the green light to move forward to Save Lorne Ave.

We have delivered everything we have been asked to deliver and more. We have done the job of Senior Administration, because they are unwilling to. If the TVDSB wishes to give this ARC process any shred of credibility, then they will utilize all of the community work for the past several years as the basis for keeping Lorne Avenue Public School Open. A decision to do any less with prove, once and for all, that the ARC process is nothing but a sham that is driven by the Provincial Government and supported wholeheartedly by School Boards, wasting thousands of dollars of educational dollars to play out. And if they close the school, it will show, without a doubt, that the TVDSB is more interested in wasting money on buses, than investing in education, since the Senior Administration recommendation costs far outweigh the costs of keeping Lorne Avenue Open.

  • It's time for all the Trustees to start asking Associate Director Karen Dalton exactly why she is dedicating so much of her efforts to close a school and create new hurdles for a community and the city to jump through.
  • It's time for the Trustees to question why Senior Administration is deliberately trying to sabotage the efforts of the community, directly undermining the directions that their own Trustees have given them.
  • It's time for Trustees to question why their Senior Administration would recommend funding unnecessary building additions and transportation instead of classroom resources. It's time for some Trustees to demonstrate their accountability to the citizens they represent, and to stop following blindly the recommendations of Senior Administration. And if they don't, it's time to replace them, and their provincial counterparts with elected officials who actually will work in the interests of children, communities, and the tax paying public like they are supposed to.
  • It's time for the Trustees to say NO to Senior Administration, and to vote YES to Save Lorne Ave.

Write to your Trustees and tell them they need to Save Lorne Ave.

Feel free to copy and paste the letter below.
Trustee addresses are available at: http://www.savelorneave.ca/p/additional-resources.html


---------------------

Dear Trustees,
Thank you for giving the Lorne Avenue community the time and guidance to bring forth a proposal that will ensure the long-term success of Lorne Avenue Public School. You have requested that they locate tenants for the space that has been declared empty, and they have done precisely that. You have asked that those tenants fit within an framework that makes them compatible with the existing educational environment, they have done that too. You have asked that the TVDSB not have to manage those tenants, and with the City Of London, that requirement too has been met. We ask that you now, vote in favour of accepting the proposal put forward by the City of London, and keep Lorne Avenue Public School open, and serving the needs of students and their community.

Ensure that the integrity of your ARC process and of your elected positions is maintained. Education dollars belong in classrooms not on buses, and keeping Lorne Avenue Open will do precisely that.

Our families that you represent are asking you to do the right thing for students, we are asking you Save Lorne Ave.

Vote to accept the proposal put forth by the City of London and the Lorne Avenue Community.

Thank you


---------------------

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Friday, 21 March 2014

LFP: New hope for old school

http://www.lfpress.com/2014/03/21/new-hope-for-old-school


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UPDATE ON LORNE AVE!

Lorne Ave continues to remain open until at least June 2015. 
We won't know about the future of the school beyond that until around mid-May of this year when the Board makes their decision based on any lease proposals submitted to them before the Apr 30 deadline.

The city has been taking the lead on becoming a primary leaseholder or purchaser of the declared "surplus" space in the school. Proposals from school-appropriate groups have been submitted to the City this week as part of the City's Request for Expressions of Interest. The City of London is going through their own process with regards to vetting those proposals, and expect to a completed package ready to present in advance of the April 30 deadline to the TVDSB. At that point it will be up to the Trustees to accept or turn down that proposal from the city, which will give us out answer as to the future of the school.

There are some very strong proposals into the city for this process, and that they will utilize all of the space that has been declared "surplus" by the TVDSB Senior Administration, and that the City has been working very hard along side the community to help ensure the future of Lorne Ave.

Again, Lorne Avenue P.S. will remain open for the remainder of this school year, and AT LEAST for one more full school year after that, no matter the final TVDSB decisions.




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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sign for Change


As we continue to fight for our school, it's important to remember that we're not the only ones going through this battle. Across the province, school boards and communities continue to clash through the unfair, unjust, and broken ARC process. As a result, communities are suffering, students are suffering, and Boards are demanding more and more money for unnecessary consolidations. It's time to put a stop to school closures, and fix the broken formulas that are being used, and make school Boards accountable to the people that they serve.

We urge you to please consider signing the petition to the Premier of Ontario at the following link:

https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/kathleen-wynne-enact-an-immediate-moratorium-on-ontario-school-closures


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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

CALL FOR PARTNERS!


The City of London is officially looking for partners to help fill the recently declared surplus space at Lorne Avenue P.S.

In their recently released Request for Expression of Interest, the City is looking to fill approximately 25,000sq in a long-term lease. This space can be utilized by one entity, or be occupied by several.

In particular, the city is looking for potential leasees that fall into the following recommendations:
Businesses and organizations should apply who are interested in leasing all or a portion of the surplus space and who will:
  • Be compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood, the ongoing operation of the school and childcare, and the operation of a neighbourhood family center; and
  • Be able to enter into a long-term (e.g. 20 year) lease agreement with the City to occupy and maintain the space.
Preference will be given to businesses and organizations that can demonstrate that they may create a positive synergy with the school, childcare and family centre uses that will continue to operate within the building.

If you are, or know of an interested party that may be able to use space at Lorne Ave, please download the following two files, and submit to the Purchasing and Supply department of the City of London no later than Monday March 17, 2014, 2:00pm.


Thank you to the City of London for putting together this package, and to those organizations expressing interest in the space at Lorne Avenue Public School.



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What do you think are the best solutions for Lorne Ave?