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October 27, 2017 6:09 pm

Springwood Decision ‘Sprung on Parents?’

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 @ 5:50 AM

PGDPAC president Gillian Burnett

Prince George, B.C.- The president of the Prince George District Parent Advisory Council says the Prince George School Board hasn’t done a very good job consulting with parents regarding their decision to reopen Springwood Elementary School.

“This has really been sprung on parents and they have not been involved in the process,” said Gillian Burnett. “This should have been a good news story but to be honest it followed our anticipated, predicted and feared path.”

Burnett said for five years parents have kept “a vigilant watch on enrolment projections and capacities” and said they weren’t consulted.

“The capacity issues in the Hart have been evident for quite some time. What makes them critical of course, is the court case with the BCTF and subsequent implementation of the win.”

As a result of her concerns, she brought forth a recommendation at last night’s public school board meeting asking that a standing committee meet annually to review the District’s enrolment capacities and projections “And that partner groups be engaged in providing input.”

Tim Bennett, Board chair, called Burnett’s concerns “very valid” but noted the Memorandum of Agreement between the BCTF and the Province related to the union’s court victory last November was only signed a couple of weeks ago.

“So, I believe the District is responding as quickly as we can to that MOA,” he said. “In terms of the committee consultation this is very unprecedented times for us. We need to respond and ensure that class sizes meet our contractual language in September in order to get the school up and ready.”

The Board didn’t indicate whether they would follow through on Burnett’s s recommendation.


They complain when schools are closed and they find something mundane to complain about when schools reopen. So what, if they weren’t “consulted”. Does everyone now have to be consulted when a body that is mandated to make these types of decisions actually makes a decision. So many people nowadays need to feel important for whatever reason. Get into politics if you want to be part of the decision process.

    So then what is the purpose of a “Parent Advisory Group” if the school district is not going to use them to communicate (consult) with the parents, on this, or other important public education matters?

I agree with Bent. The parent advisory groups are the dumbest idea ever. If you want to have a say in these types of things, run and get elected to the school board. The board can’t be listening to every person that has an idea about how things should be done. What is the advantage of having a school board if everyone has a different idea?

    This is not about needing to get elected to have a say. Parents have the right to advise their school board as legislated by the School Act. The sd57 board has not done a good job of listening to the advice and concerns of parents. Over the past 5 years parents have submitted reports, written letters, and raised concerns regarding capacity and asking for better consultation with the board. The board decisions regarding Edgewood and Springwood were indeed sprung on parents. Good for Gillian for pushing on this issue.

So the school district gets crapped on when the close schools, and they get crapped on when they re-open a school. Seems to be a bunch of whinney people, that just likes the sound of their voice.

To the School District #57. You have done a great job, managing your assets. Even when the enrollment fell by 40%, You have managed and manevoured the assets, in a manner that you hung on to vital pieces of investment. This is insight, of a well managed, and clear thinking board of past and present. This is the reason why we even have a chance to reopen a school.

Yes the school district did sell a few pieces off. But overall, they did a good job. The best thing they have been doing is improving their energy consumption, and saving big bucks. WTG.

Keep up the good work, and don’t let a couple of cry babies deter you from the main focus.

Thank you

In my experience, the PAC, was mostly for fundraising. What fabulous news to be opening a previously shut down school! This is exactly what we need! As far as it being “sprung on”, hasn’t all of BC been sprung on with the additional funding?! At what point is starting a discussion considered being “sprung on”. The school board is “damned If
you do, damned if you don’t”

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