Brent Wood's blog
September 30 2011
from the Mayor:
Peterborough needs PCVS group:
The fight is not over yet ~ stay informed via the "Peterborough needs PCVS" facebook page.
Join the human chain!
A human chain is being planned by PCVS students on Wednesday 11:20 a.m. to noon, linking the school to the Market Hall in a symbolic act to show the school's connection to the downtown. Examiner coverage.
The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board is about to make a decision to shut down one of Peterborough’s high schools. PCVS, Peterborough’s only downtown school, is at or near the top of the list of schools to close. On September 29 the trustees will make a final decision. If those of us who care about the health of our community and the potential of our youth don’t show our support now for this important cultural institution, it will be too late.
We believe closing PCVS would restrict the options for students in the system for whom the downtown location makes such a positive difference to their growth and education. And we aren’t just talking about young artists, but students from all fields of interest.
If you agree, please write a letter to the editor or contact the trustees directly, with a copy to: email@example.com. Below are their email addresses. More info at www.peterboroughneedspcvs.com
Furthermore, if you are an alumnus have a look at the question we are putting to PCVS grads, below, and see if you can tell us why the downtown location was important to your education. No jokes about underage drinking please!
If possible, please submit your comments by Monday Sept 26 so that we can draw the public’s attention to them a few days before the board meets on the 29th.
ATTENTION PCVS GRADS
You can help by telling the trustees why going to a downtown school made a difference in your growth and career. If that is true for you, we are asking you to respond to this question:
"Were there activities you took part in, people you met, organizations and business you visited or worked with either during school or after school, which made a lasting impact on your life/career? Did the unique location make a difference that COULD NOT be duplicated at any other school in the city?"
Submit your response either by email reply or on Public Energy's facebook page.
Why Does the Integrated Arts Program Need to Stay at PCVS?
The Integrated Arts Program began in 1990 at PCVS as an alternative program for students who wanted something different for their secondary school. The PCVS program was an original idea and the first Integrated Arts Program in the province of Ontario, winning the 1992 North American Curriculum Award for outstanding design.
The location in a downtown school was and is critical to its success. The Integrated Arts Program was based on the concept of a unique culture that would develop both within the school walls and beyond the school itself.
It has now integrated fully with the downtown community:
- Young artists exhibit and perform their works in numerous downtown sites
- Integrated Arts students choose co-op placements in the arts that they can walk to including: Showplace, the Peterborough Theatre Guild, Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, the former Peterborough Arts Umbrella, Bud’s Music World, Trent Radio, Artspace and the Art Gallery of Peterborough (AGP).
- Visual arts students complete a studio tour assignment by walking to downtown artists’ studios on the AGP’s annual fall studio tour.
- Students can often be seen in the nearby park playing musical instruments or rehearsing scenes. The school community cleans up the park as part of good citizenship.
- Even the Chief of Police has stated that the “positive youth influence in the downtown core is significant” that PCVS creates, and "it is most desirable to retain the presence of this last remaining school in our downtown.”
This reciprocal relationship is vital to the entire culture of the school and the vitality of the city and broadens the scope of cultural awareness throughout the community.
The building itself provides the necessary atmosphere to draw students who often do not fit into other schools. Many students transfer from other systems due to bullying. Students feel safe and inspired in an environment that is comfortable and adaptable; the foyer of PCVS has natural lighting and boasts an impressive collection of student art.
Staffs have invested years of development and thought into the design of unique curriculums. Such programming requires team teaching and demands creative risks in developing and implementing, reviewing and configuring. This dedication has bred a culture which nurtures and encourages innovation in teaching and learning- it breathes and lives in the halls and classrooms of PCVS.
The auditorium was solidly built with excellent acoustics, has been outfitted with state of the art lighting and theatre technology for the purpose of presenting performances, students have been trained to run the equipment – it was not repurposed as a cafeteria or gymnasium or divided space.
The sense of respect for the hundreds of students who have gone before permeates the whole building. Every day is Remembrance Day as students
walk past the relief sculpture that honours the young men who sacrificed their lives. On November 11th the students create a dramatic presentation and invite our Veterans to attend and join the rest of the city ceremonies in the park. This will no longer happen if the program is moved.
The provincial document for sustainable communities Places to Grow strongly recommends keeping a downtown school alive.
PCVS is the only one left.
photo by Désirée Fawn