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LETTER: Real support critical for students

The transition of College Heights is a major concern for at least one area teacher
Teacher Shelley Peterson supervisors the planting of a shade tree at the launch of College Heights Secondary School's organic garden Friday, June 10, 2016. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

EloraFergusToday received the following letter from an area teacher concerned about the proposed transition of College Heights.

I am writing as a teacher and concerned citizen regarding the proposed transition of College Heights. While it is admirable that Carlo Zen and the Board have worked so hard on proposing alternative learning centres for Upper Grand, my understanding is that they don't exist yet. They are a theoretical ideal, while College Heights is a real, well-established, supportive, successful program for our young people - so why is it being dismantled before something new is in place?

I am a Grade 7/8 teacher with students who have been excited to attend College Heights for years, and who would greatly benefit from the smaller class sizes, hands-on learning, and extra social-emotional support. Without it, I am seriously concerned that many of our youth are going to fall through the cracks of high school and end up feeling unsuccessful, abandoned and on the streets without graduating. Who will be accountable then?

Teachers are already overwhelmed and struggling to cope with top-down directives that do not reflect the reality of our students' lives and their learning needs. Before destroying a program that has been working well for decades, like at College Heights, please demonstrate that there is something that will pick up the slack for our future citizens.

R. Jamieson