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Letter to Pemberton Woods Neighbours 101620

As a follow up to our last letter of 21 September 2020, we wanted to provide you with an update to our operations at the school…
Dear Neighbours,
 
As a follow up to our last letter of 21 September 2020, we wanted to provide you with an update to our operations at the school.
 
2020 has been a year with many changes for all us. We are thankful to all those members of the community that have provided their understanding and support as we update a number of our operational components at the school. We appreciated the feedback received to date and I hope neighbours have begun to see progress as I enter into the first half-year of my role as head of school.
 
One item that the school has focused on over the past few weeks has been the transportation items raised by neighbours. On the school’s end, we spent time discussing the current traffic volume with staff from the City of Victoria as well as our own school staff to discuss ways we might mitigate traffic congestion on Maddison Street during the period of morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. Through these discussions, the school has explored changes to our own operations and reviewed the Maddison Street updates proposed by City of Victoria staff to help improve pedestrian throughway on the street. As a result of our internal review, the school has moved forward with the following changes to our operations:
  1. We are directing Senior School parents (Grades 9 to 12) to use our Richmond access for drop-off and pick-up. Middle School families will continue to use Maddison.
  2. We are sending weekly reminders to parents regarding pick-up and drop-off procedures. This includes reminders about being respectful of our school neighbours and includes information about alternative parking locations that are nearby but not marked as residential only.
  3. We have asked senior administrative staff to have a more active presence at both Maddison and Richmond to help with the control and flow of traffic and to ensure COVID-19 protocols are being followed.
  4. We are meeting with the coordinator responsible for our school buses to re-examine the possibility of using Richmond for busing drop-off and pick-up.
  5. We have provided written support to City staff on updates to Maddison that would see the introduction of a new temporary sidewalk and placement of planters on the eastern side of the street which would eliminate parking along that same side and add additional space for pedestrians. We feel that these measures will improve the overall pedestrian nature of the street to the benefit of the entire neighbourhood.
With regards to the previously described Development Variance Application for the school, our application continues to move forward with the City of Victoria process to allow us the option to temporarily locate modular classrooms and a gym tent on our Pemberton Woods campus to improve safety for all members of the school and community from COVID-19. While there remain many unknowns regarding the transmission of COVID-19, Dr. Bonnie Henry, our Provincial Health Officer, is certain that physical distancing is the best preventative measure. In response to community feedback, we have revised our application to reflect a temporary period of three years—reduced from five years.
 
Keeping our students, teachers, staff and neighbourhood as safe as possible during the ongoing health pandemic is our top priority. The next steps for our application, as noted on the signs posted at the school, will be at an opportunity for public input at the City of Victoria on October 22. We encourage neighbours to participate and welcome your support.
 
Sincerely,
 
Chad Holtum
Head of Glenlyon Norfolk School
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Glenlyon Norfolk School

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