Take Action today, Save our Strings Program!



Dear Willows Parents,


As you may be aware the Victoria School District (SD61) has a $7 million deficit for the 2021/22 budget and is proposing drastic cuts to music programs and other vital staff such as Educational Assistants.


These cuts will destroy middle school music programs, as well as elementary strings programs, including our Grade 5 Strings program at Willows and has the potential to impact literacy support and other programs. The final budget vote is on May 17, 2021.


The benefits of learning music for children and people of all ages have been well-researched and documented. Music is good for the brain, the soul and for human connection. Especially during this pandemic, music and the arts have endured as both a cure for stress and a way to stay connected with others.


Willows is the largest elementary school in SD61 and we encourage all parents to take action on this important issue! There’s no time to spare.


Here are some ways you can save music in our schools:


1. SIGN the online petition Click this link


2. JOIN the Save SD61 Strings (including Elementary Strings) Facebook group


3. UNITE with other families to stage safe protests across Victoria Click here


4. EMAIL the SD61 Superintendents, Trustees and our MLA to tell them how important you think music education is


A helpful form letters you can edit can be found here 9

and here

Board of Trustees - trustees@sd61.bc.ca

Budget Feedback - budget@sd61.bc.ca

Jordan Watters - jwatters@sd61.bc.ca

Diane McNally - dmcnally@sd61.bc.ca

Nicole Duncan - nduncan@sd61.bc.ca

Tom Ferris - tferris@sd61.bc.ca

Angie Hentze - ahentze@sd61.bc.ca

Elaine Leonard - eleonard@sd61.bc.ca

Ryan Painter - rpainter@sd61.bc.ca

Rob Paynter - rpaynter@sd61.bc.ca

Ann Whiteaker - awhiteaker@sd61.bc.ca

Superintendent of Schools: Shelley Green - sgreen@sd61.bc.ca

Deputy Superintendent of Schools: Deb Whitten - dwhitten@sd61.bc.ca

Associate Superintendent: Harold Caldwell - hcaldwell@sd61.bc.ca

MLA for Oak Bay/ Gordon Head: Murray Rankin - murray.rankin.MLA@leg.bc.ca


5. DIARIZE these dates and consider speaking at the following meetings


April 21 Open Public Budget Meeting 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Click here to join Zoom meeting)

April 26 Open Board Meeting (folks can register to speak by emailing: vhanley@sd61.bc.ca)

May 3 Education Policy & Directions Committee (folks can register to speak by emailing: kgorman@sd61.bc.ca)

May 10 Operations Policy & Planning Committee (folks can register to speak by emailing: kgorman@sd61.bc.ca)

May 17 Open Board Meeting with specific 15 minute presentation time for GVTA and other partners as part of the agenda: relay publicly GVTA’s concerns and impacts of budget (folks can register to speak by emailing: vhanley@sd61.bc.ca)

6. TWEET it out!


Use #SaveMusicSD61 #bcpoli #bced and tag:


@sd61schools @shelleygreen61 @KimKMorris @JordanWatters_ @RobPaynterSD61 @ryanlpainter @McNallySD61BC @wtmferris @bcndp @bcmea


Together we can make a difference for our kids and our community!


THANK YOU!

Willows PAC Volunteers

www.willowspac.ca


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