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Anglophone East DEC Member Disappointed By School’s Lack Of Accessibility

By Tara Clow Sep 21, 2022 | 1:37 PM

(Photo: Anglophone East School District)

Concerns from an Anglophone East District Education Council member after a grade 9 Harrison Trimble student couldn’t start the school year on time due to a lack of accessibility.

DEC member Kristin Cavoukian says she has learned that the school was aware of infrastructure issues since the spring.

“The process is still ongoing and the accessibility issues have not been resolved yet. They’re getting resolved, but it is still in the process,” Cavoukian says.

Cavoukian feels the student and family are owed answers and an apology, “The student needed to start grade nine on time. That is a really important moment in any young person’s life. I think it is our responsibility because equity means that everyone starts grade 9 on time.   When this doesn’t happen, we need to get to the bottom of it, and when it becomes a public issue, we need to address it here.  Six months is a long time to retrofit a school when we know there is someone with specific needs about to enrol in that school.”

She says the student is attending classes now, and the Principal and teachers have been bending over backwards to do everything they possibly can to make the student feel welcome and to switch classrooms. She also adds that some of the infrastructure has arrived.

“I think that there is a good news story here. We can take an equity issue, that’s a really serious matter, that has affected the life of this one student, and turn it into a learning experience, We can plan ahead and make sure that infrastructural shortfalls and shortcomings don’t affect the lives of our students going forward. I do believe that we do owe this particular student and their family an apology, and I will personally be extending,” she feels.

Cavoukian adds, “The bad news story is that as a DEC member, I was asked not to discuss this and that’s inappropriate. We need to discuss issues in public that has already been discussed in public and I’ll continue to do that in my role in this body. “


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