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Dec 20,2006 - TriCityNews

By Diane Strandberg The Tri-City News
Dec 20 2006

A meeting last night and a new website are part of a campaign to raise awareness about the potential closure of Lincoln elementary and come up with solutions to keep the school open, says Port Coquitlam Coun. Greg Moore.

The website ( has a petition, information on how to get involved and how to contact School District 43 trustees as well as links to school board agendas, meetings and the district’s school closure policy.

Tuesday’s meeting, held after The Tri-City News’ deadline, was an information sharing meeting for the school community, said Moore, who said he hoped trustees and school officials would attend.

“We want to be solutions oriented,” he said.

Moore said he’s disappointed that the process for discussing school closure doesn’t involve the trustees until the very end and he can’t figure out why the school is on the list because it doesn’t meet any of the district’s criteria for closing.

For example, Lincoln’s utilization rate is 69% and expected to climb next year, Moore said, nearly 20% higher than the 50% stated in the board’s policy.

“It’s obviously all about capital,” Moore said, noting that seismic renovations to Lincoln, expected to take place this year, were shelved after studies revealed the ground was unstable and the entire school needed to be rebuilt.

Meanwhile, a rumour that a decision has already been made to close Moody elementary was discounted by SD43 spokesperson Cheryl Quinton, who said decisions on possible closures won’t be made by trustees until a Feb. 27 board meeting.

In the meantime, a schedule for school meetings beginning the week of Jan. 8 is being circulated and published in local newspapers, she said.

Last week, parents from some school parent advisory councils expressed concern trustees weren’t involved in the next round of school meetings. But two trustees responded by saying the meetings were meant to give parents a chance to digest information and consider whether their children would benefit from being relocated to larger schools.

Moore said he would prefer to talk directly to trustees and is urging his community to contact them by phone.

Meanwhile, CUPE Local 561, which represents district support staff, is buying ads in local papers to inform people about possible school closures.

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