Parents Express Range of Emotions Over Springwood Re-Opening
Prince George, B.C. – About 100 parents turned out to ask questions and express both happiness and concern about the reopening of Springwood Elementary School this September at a public information session at Kelly Road Secondary School last night.
“I 100 per cent support this move,” said Lisa Blackley, a mother of two children and whose oldest will attend kindergarten at Springwood this September. “It means a smaller school and smaller classes for my kids.”
Another mother, Kirsten O’Donnell, echoed Blackley’s pleasure.
“Having gone to a rural school myself, it’s a different atmosphere than the bigger schools. It’s a closer-knit group,” she said.
Other parents wanted assurances that kids wouldn’t miss out on extra curricular activities they would have benefitted from at Heather Park Elementary now that they’re headed to Springwood– like a class trip to Europe next winter.
“One of the most common questions to do with Heather Park is programming,” said School Board Chair Tim Bennett. “I think this is a situation where we’ll be able to create a great legacy at both schools.”
Superintendent of Schools Marilyn Marquis-Forster said school bus concerns – namely the fear school buses might have to make a left-hand turn onto Chief Lake Road from Highway 97 – would be addressed by the District’s Traffic Safety Committee later this spring.
Some parents were critical of the school district for the short notice they were given to prepare for the move while another was concerned about future staffing at Springwood asking, “if they would all be young and just out of school.”
Gillian Burnett, president of the Prince George District Parent Advisory Council, acknowledged while “an informative” session – all the concerns were based on parents “fear of the unknown.”
“The unknown is what causes people the greatest concern. The more we can tell parents, the quicker we can do this so we can have those answers for them the better.”
The District announced the reopening of Springwood at its public board meeting April 4.
Marquis-Forster said it was prompted by the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation Supreme Court of Canada victory last November and the subsequent need for 10 more classrooms in the Hart area.
(She also noted it was helped along by a growing population).
Parents with additional questions about the reopening can email the district at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This just plain annoys me:
“Marquis-Forster said it was prompted by the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation Supreme Court of Canada victory last November and the subsequent need for 10 more classrooms in the Hart area.”
The school district has known for a long time now that the 3 Hart Elementary schools were at capacity. Did they not have a plan in effect to deal with it? Or were they hoping it would sort itself out? Maybe this should have prompted some action instead of a court decision? How short sighted can a group of trustees be?
From their own website:
Schools Operating at Full Enrolment Capacity
Schools listed below are operating at full enrolment capacity.
Admission of out-of-catchment students is not anticipated.
Lac des Bois – Maximum of 60 students Kindergarten students
Polaris Montessori – Maximum of 40 students Kindergarten students
Heather Park (English Program)
I have a boy entering kindergarten, but the public school half a block away is full and he didn’t make the list, so now he is signed up for a private school starting in September. I suspect a lot of the growth in private schools has been as a result of this same issue. It costs the government half as much to fund private schools.
Probably for the better anyways because the private schools have better programming still teaching things like music, gym, and French classes which have been cut from the public school programming. Also every class has a spare teacher that focuses on the special needs students that get ahead or fall behind, something which the public schools don’t do anymore. It’s going to hurt the budget though for sure, but we still have time to make the adjustments.
My kids are enrolled in public schools and all 3 are in band, gym and French. Gym and French are regular classes while band is extracurricular (after school).
What type of guarantees are they giving that these children will not be moved over until the teachers contract ends and then moved back when the Libs. Try to crush the teachers. Because, of course,it is the teachers fault they tore up a signed contract.
This has nothing to do with the Teachers and their contract, this is all about the increasing enrolment in the Hart schools. Anything else is just petty politics.
Was there not a time when everyone was happy a school was opening, and very angry at a closure?
This has everything to do with the teachers and their contract… Christy started this entire fiasco when she ripped the up the contract when she was minister of education.. HOw many millions did this chick cost us due her ignorance over just this issue..
Actually P Val, Christy Clark did not start this whole mess. This whole mess was started when the previous Glen Clark gifted the BCTF with a “Sweetheart” deal that was declared unaffordable, even by the incoming NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh and NDP Leader Carole James!
Have you not noticed that the BCTF has not mentioned going back the contract provisions that existed before the “Sweetheart” deal?
>>>> “…that was declared unaffordable, even by the incoming NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh and NDP Leader Carole James!”
Exactly! Of course some people would rather not remember this and prefer to make up stories instead!
The teachers are the ones that can be credited for getting this school opened again. Staying strong and taking this government to court is the only way that this could have happened and to all the Liberal supporters who live in that area should also thank the teachers because your property values have just increased by thousands of dollars.
More property taxes, yay!
Cost us millions and saved us billions
What.. politicians saying what they think the masses want to hear..say it isnt so
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