School Board Creates Catchment Committee
Prince Georg e, B.C. – Catchment concerns are being addressed in the Prince George School District.
At last night’s final public board meeting of the school year, trustees approved the terms of reference for the Catchment and Capacity Review Stakeholder Advisory Committee.
The Committee was created at the request of Gillian Burnett, president of the Prince George District Parent Advisory Council.
It aims to provide input to the Education Services Committee on issues related to the planning and utilization of facilities, enrolment and school boundaries.
It will also help identify trends, challenges and emergent issues based on the current and projected enrolments and school capacities for the next five years.
“Enrolment numbers are not static,” says Burnett. “They change over time and what we’ve seen in the past is we’ve had declining enrolment for a number of years and we have some over capacity issues in certain areas of town. We want to be able to have a more consultative process so that parents can have some input what happens and when.”
She says that kind of input has been lacking in the past – for instance with the sudden announcement Springwood Elementary would be reopening in September (the school district has countered it was impossible to prepare for the Supreme Court ruling which necessitated that move earlier this year.)
“Yeah. Parents would like to be involved and have some input into how that process is going to look, much earlier in the process than what has happened in the past. We also have Mackenzie where they had a grade configuration change and again, it was passed before parents really had an opportunity to provide their input.”
The committee will meet once annually between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15. The actual meeting will be set once enrolment for the current school year has been finalized by the Ministry of Education.
Trustees Sharel Warrington and Trish Bella were opposed on the grounds the advisory committee would duplicate the work of the Education Services Committee.
“I don’t see the need to create a sub-committee for the work Education Services is supposed to do,” said Bella.