The Issues

Schools are the heart of a neighbourhood and it is the Board’s responsibility to keep the heart beating.  Far too often, a lack of proper planning means these schools either don't exist or are too small to accommodate a new or growing population. It should be a matter of course that local kids can go to their local schools. 

Once in school, students should have the resources they need for success. The last two decades have seen the loss of many programs that used to improve student outcomes, such as elementary band and strings and a diversity of secondary alternatives that kept kids in school and made their experience more fulfilling. Today’s students deserve the same opportunities their parents had. It’s clear that the School Board is not acting in the best interest of all residents. 

TEAM Perspective and Action Plan

A TEAM-led School Board will work to address both planning and resource allocation; ensuring that City, School and Park planning is holistic.   

Action Items:
  • Work to end school enrolment lotteries! Proper long range planning with the City will ensure that schools are planned to be where students need them, when they need them. This will give schools a more secure future they can count on;
  • Ensure that City planning for growth doesn't get ahead of school resources to support that growth, and prioritize new schools for catch-up in newly developed neighbourhoods such as Olympic Village that has been waiting for a decade without a school;
  • Stop disposing of school land! Commit to retaining ownership of school buildings and property for future population growth by taking advantage of space in underutilized school buildings for other community uses such as childcare, seniors care, or community programs; 
  • Take action by any means possible to reverse the proposed sale of Queen Elizabeth Annex;
  • Negotiate with the province to keep more of the school taxes collected in the City of Vancouver for local schools that are currently underfunded, rather than the current practice of city school taxes going into provincial general revenue and therefore, Vancouver subsidizing the rest of the province;
  • Coordinate with the Park Board to enhance fields and green spaces for use by the greater community as well as by the host schools. This reinforces TEAM’s commitment to the vibrant public spaces as part of the livable city principles;
  • Provide an integrated swimming/lifeguard training program so all 100% of kids in Vancouver can learn to swim. Currently, 50% don't have that skill that can save their lives. TEAM is committed to providing that training in cooperation with qualified agencies, and to also providing more easily accessed community based pools, with cooperation between community centres and schools to target early learning for young children;
  • Implement anti-racism and equity policies and measure their outcomes to ensure they are effective;
  • Incorporate childcare into school sites with the long range view of implementing an early education preschool program for all 3- and 4-year-olds in keeping with Ministry of Education plans;
  • Include music programming at every elementary school, bringing back the Elementary Band & Strings programs; and
  • Provide pathways for students to find and pursue their passions, as the surest method to improve student outcomes.  Increase the focus on alternative, applied skills and dual credit programs; learners across the academic spectrum need both support and challenge.

Related policies: Planning & Development, Transportation, Parks & Recreation