The SchoolsFirst Initiative is an initiative launched by John McCrea, the Trustee from Ward 5 in the Upper Canada District School Board. Its goal is to create a community of like-minded leaders on a set of common goals to push forward a positive change in our Ontario Education system. Join John in supporting our students.

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Schools matter to me because

Examples of Reasons Submitted

  • Because in schools, the children there might redeem us. Our world is crumbling and they may have the wherewithal to bring us back from the brink. We, therefore, should nourish them by providing space to flourish.

 

  • Schools are unifying places. Schools draw in the dynamic demographics of our society, of any society. Young parents are ambitious for a better future for all of us, defacto. As a Trustee, I want to be guided by their understandings of our shared future.

 

  • Schools are where math is taught and conveyed. Schools are the places where her precise beauty can be explored. Math is the queen of the sciences. Math offers certainty. Math defines wonder.

 

  • Music can be taught there and learned there and expressed there individually or in groups, all at NO cost to the child. To all schools (staff, students, parents)that desire it and commit to support it, it should be offered and paid for with public funds.

 

  • Schools are places where full-day day-care would be convenient.

 

  • At school, sports equipment can be supplied for the benefit of all and children coached well.

 

  • School explores our capacity to share. That may be an essential attribute of a society dealing with uncertainty.

 

  • Schools are where, as the Queen says, ’the children are’. Schools matter because children matter. They understand intuitively, the most revolutionary change agent since the printing press. 

 

  • Nature and her natural diversity are in noticeable decline. Plants and animals are not flourishing and elementary schools seem the place to ask why??!! see #’s 20, 22, 27, 28, & 29.

 

  • Schools admix diversity early to head off extremist views.

 

  • Schools can supply free food to children.

 

  • Schools can economically supply and hub transportation.

 

  • Schools can supply CO-OP labour.

 

  • Schools can provide a captive demand for nutritious, regionally grown food-stuffs and providers of such. Resilient producers, close to home that make the whole area more food secure.

 

  • Schools can, if a good staff, with in-school support and a good parent’s council exist, produce creative individuals. Creativity is something only God and man can do and A.I. not at all.

 

  • When I went to high school fifteen hundred students produced one or two or no Ontario Scholars. They were polymaths and could speak Latin often. So schools are important so those really bright children can be challenged to learn a dead language like Latin and maybe Gaelic if someone can come in and help teach it.

 

  • Schools provide professionals and care that some children may not receive enough of at home in regard to their personal well-being.

 

  • Schools represent the rationale for the oldest elected body in the real Upper Canada. School Trustees are the first thing United Empire Loyalists thought worth voting on here in what is Ontario. Its tradition of real-world excellence stemmed from one of the earliest beginnings of free education, free education for all, in the world. Ontario from then on almost lead the world in its quality of public education… more to add in #35

 

  • School as the hub for young parents is one thing they have in common, so that is a community waiting to happen. Communities beyond tribe, honour trust above loyalty though included.

 

  • Schools, particularly elementary schools, usually have underutilized grounds that could be used to attract bees and butterflies. See the City of Amsterdam’s actions and results. Our young know the dilemma they’re in, from my generation’s gift to them. Saving pollinators is a way to help themselves and refute the barren landscapes we also gifted to them.                                                                                           

 

  • Trustees are important because they must be more trustworthy than ordinary elected individuals. Village Trustees (fire protection) church Trustees (congregation’s interests) and school Trustees (their children) have trust implied in the name. They are entrusted with precious assets.

 

  • Schools could be places where trees are studied. I’m an arborist. Trees do so much. They are under powerful attack, with few defenders, from an alien invasion. Schools could be an effective help. See # 28

 

  • If schools are in neighbourhoods, and of appropriate size, many students can walk to school. Walking is good for all of us.

 

  • Schools in rural areas are in some of the last places that have not been completely savaged by cuts. We have underfunded this steward of our water, air, and soil. Twenty-first-century entrepreneurs/parents are moving back and reproducing as young couples do. Rural schools are positioned for this expansion.

 

  • Schools are dependent on great teachers. Not to union bash in an age when capital gets excessive returns, but teaching must be a meritocracy.

 

  • Schools, all of them, could have shops in empty classrooms. See #42 & #45 for more.

 

  • Schools could/should define, identify and measure local fauna. Why are songbirds being eliminated as predator birds descent into nearby bushes and meadows in only the last generation?

 

  • Schools could/should define, identify and tread very lightly on local flora. Wildflowers with pollinators are disappearing as are untold others. They, these children in our schools, have a good chance of finding the obvious for us.

 

  • Schools could/should make a study of fungi. Fungi are between animal and plant, much closer to the animal kingdom. Fungi are anti-tumor, antiseptic etc. et al., neutralize chemicals and radioactive waste and is very high-end food and can give impressions of an altered state.

 

  • Schools can be examples of thrift in teaching this young society the frugal use of resources. How the school pays/does things is a message of resilience, learned into student’s understandings, preparing them for scarcity perhaps.

 

  • Schools can be places live languages can be learned and practiced and rewarded for learning. Canadians make good diplomats because we are good at languages.

 

  • Schools can be places where outside mentors (supervised by College of Teacher Professional) share wisdom, skills, and knowledge. These skills/trades may awaken dreams of the doers in the classrooms.

 

  • Schools can theoretically tackle the most existential calamities that now face us. We’d just ask students what they think. You can be sure that they wouldn’t be thinking with only a printing press mindset.

 

  • Schools could be bastions of quality control if quality assurance stuck to its role of inspection. Quality control is all day, every day, on-site: quality assurance is remote and periodic.

 

  • Ryerson and others are reviled for the grievous wrong of residential schools, that aside, schools in the mid-nineteenth century, in Ontario, made education not only available to everyone but taught teachers how to teach. Ontario and thus Canada built a nation on that beginning. Schools Board’s contributions carry on that proud tradition not completely to my satisfaction.

 

  • Schools bring great teachers to places of learning. I’ll mention David Downing from my one-room grade school days, Robert Lawn from high school years and Richard ‘Dick’ Tindal from college. They and others commanded respect and excellence in their dealings with students.

 

  • With unrestricted free busing, day trips could be exchanged between schools for enhanced co-learning experiences. Schools within Boards could cooperate more.  See next #38

 

  • Schools between Boards could cooperate more. If I’m elected I’ll be speaking with Trustees in other Boards.

 

  • Students with trophies & awards for excellence in in-school sports will be remembered. I understand the trophies at Maynard school were tossed. If not, where are they? Schools are custodians of records.

 

  • Schools are units of a regional body. This body has tremendous power to influence economic development thru the excellence of individual schools across this region. That is, entrepreneurs, locate, with capital and the unique knowledge to invest successfully in a community and want to live and build where good schools exist. It is often 1st and foremost. Examples abound.

 

  • Schools have students who could mentor adults in social media and other 21st century practices.

 

  • Schools could/should teach trades, apprenticeships and/or hands-on skills. eg. assembling and programming a Pentium 75 or an aquaponics demonstration or a school paid co-op (workman’s comp, pay etc.).

 

  • Schools thru the Parent Council’s could influence the Board to place investments in climate bond initiatives that are safe and ethical. See next.

 

  • School’s parent councils have values that they want for their children. Let us ask them to agree on some.

 

  • Schools could take a lead regionally in DC electricity and electronics.  

 

  • Schools could take the lead regionally in wiring a building for the 21st century. I’m talking hands on, every opportunity is a teaching moment.

 

  • Schools, in my view, should be as concerned about proportion as they are in decimalizing things. Binary code and boolean logic miss a lot that is not easily defined. Therein lays the answer to artificial intelligence I believe. The next generation should have time and space to smell the roses and see the forest as well as the trees. Small schools help that and mega-schools not so much.

 

  • Schools give great Principals the opportunity to have the word ‘good’ placed on schools they very much build. Mrs. Roseberry at Maynard and Mr. McNeil stand out in my memory.