We have recently received a few gym cancellations that will affect many teams.
Michael A Kostek is not available until November 5 because the gym is being used as a classroom.
Callingwood is not available until November 1 due to maintenance on the gym floor being behind schedule.
This will result in the teams assigned to those gyms sharing gyms with other teams assigned to other schools for that time period.(This is less than ideal because it will impact many teams who will have only half a gym for about 3 practices).
Elmwood school has new administration who have chosen not to put the school into the joint use program at this time. Historically we have had over 10 hours a week at this school.
Please read the letter below to see how you can make an impact.
GYM USE CHALLENGES
One of the challenges faced by Edmonton Minor Soccer and other groups that use school gyms for practice is that there simply are not enough gyms made available to the community through the school boards. In Edmonton, walking and cycling and fitness are part of the vision for our childrens, yet we are unable in many cases to access our local school gyms for our children to participate in evening sports activities.
The most important role of public schools in our community is to educate our children. However, the facility can also be a valuable resource for positive afterschool activities.
Edmonton Public School Board has 245 schools. 202 schools are part of the joint use agreement which allows after school use. (82% participation rate)
Edmonton Catholic school board has 87 schools. Only 38 schools are in the joint use agreement. (43% participation rate)
For example, in Lessard area, Centennial school, Michael A Kostek School, S. Bruce Smith School and Lymburn Schools are available for soccer and other sports while Good Shepherd remains closed to the community.
In LaPerle area, LaPerle, Belmead and Aldergrove are available for joint use while St. Benedict remains closed to the community.
Now is the time to contact your school trustee candidates to have a conversation about how the children and adults in your community can have greater access to the wonderful asset in your community – your neighbourhood school gymnasium. Contact the candidates in your ward (listed below) and ask them how we can improve the model of gym use to make more gyms available to the community.
(*Joint use program is an existing agreement whereby schools in Edmonton Public and Catholic Schools submit their gym availability to the City of Edmonton. User groups then are allocated the time in a fair and equitable manner according to policies determined by a committee of user groups including basketball, volleyball, soccer, badminton, Girl Guides and Scouts, rhythmic gymnastics, marshal arts, etc.)
For starters, we need better participation from Edmonton Catholic Schools.
Under the current system, caretakers allow the user groups into the schools. Thus caretaker availability in the evening can be presented as a barrier to evening school use. An alternate model would be to hire an after school program director who would simply let the user groups in and out of the building and monitor the safe use. Costs would be borne by user groups.
If the existing caretaker contracts are a barrier to community use of schools, this must be addressed by the school board. Imagine how many sports activities for youth and adults could take place in a walkable location in your community. Let’s make Edmonton even better!!
Election day: Monday, October 16, 2017
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