From a Grade 7/8 Teacher in Ontario:
I’m sharing a couple of photos from the Ontario elementary school where I am a teacher.
The building roof has been patched in places, but this particular site continues to spring a leak whenever there’s significant rain. The last time this happened, a Grade 8 student matter-of-factly put out a bucket under the leak and then went about his business as though a leaky roof is to be expected in an Ontario school!
We also experience leaks in our kitchen and musical instrument storage, risking damage to expensive and much-needed equipment. Water-stained tiles throughout the school mark the legacy of a leaky roof. The roof has been patched repeatedly over the years, but the filthy tiles remain.
Our wonderful, supportive parent council and Principal have tried to draw attention to this issue with the powers that be. Our teaching staff and students get on with their daily business with considerable good humour and aplomb. I think it is a shame that these are our working and learning conditions. We have great caretakers who do all they can just to maintain the day-to-day cleanliness of the classroom floors, hallways, stairwell and bathrooms.
Parents, students and visitors frequently comment on the disrepair in our schools. They wonder aloud about the possibility of mold, given all the evidence of longstanding water issues. It’s embarrassing and reflects poorly on our school! Some less informed folks have even made remarks that suggest that the fault lies with the teaching staff. This is unfair and hard on morale as we work hard to run a program that we can be proud of.
The worst part is that in terms of our facility, I know that we are actually quite lucky compared to other schools I’ve visited.
I hope these photos help shine a light on the issue of maintenance and crumbling infrastructure so that changes can be made to the funding formula and real improvements can be made to schools across our our province.