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October 28, 2017 2:36 am

SD57 Classes Start Today

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 @ 4:17 AM

backtoschool(3)Prince George, B.C.-  There will be  plenty of activity in and around school zones today, as today is the first day back to school for  students in School District 57  and it will be a  year  of  challenges  for the Board that governs  SD57. 

Board of Trustees Chair Tony Cable says  the  issue of declining enrollment is impacting rural  schools the hardest  “Rural  education will be a major issue for us  as we will  have to work to provide schools in Mackenzie, McBride and Valemount with the resources they need.”

Rural schools are  facing capacity issues, and Cable says  more work needs to be done to convince the Province that  rural  schools aren’t just about the numbers of students filling seats. “We just can’t ask  people to  drive two hours to get to school and another 2 hours to get home.”

The issue is not new,  as  Giscome Elementary faced a similar challenge a few years ago.  At the time the  question was whether or not that school (which had been  declared unsafe) could be  rebuilt, or if students would be bused  to  Buckhorn.  Bussing students would have meant  long  drives to and from class a hardship no one wanted to place on  young elementary school students.    In the end,  the decision was made to  create a school that would also be a centre for the community.

Cable admits  there  will have to be  some difficult decisions made this year, as some schools in the  District are at, or passed  what would be considered their  expected lifespan.  “There are a number of schools which we will have to look at retooling, or possibly rebuilding” says Cable  who adds “School closures are always a last resort.”

Cable is hopeful  arrangements can be made to  have the Provincial Minster of Education visit School District 57 this fall so the issue of  the challenges of rural education can be  discussed and experienced first hand.

On a more positive note,  Cable is beaming  about SD57’s  French Immersion  enrollment numbers, “The program  has become very popular and we are  close to setting  a record for enrollment.” He is also  pleased with how the year is getting underway “We don’t have any labour disputes, so that in itself is a big improvement over last year.”  Last year, the start of the school year was delayed  because of  the teachers strike.

Drivers are reminded to obey the school zone signs,  and  not to pass school buses that have flashing red lights.


You would think that, during the discussions to close schools for low enrollment, they would have taken into consideration the age of the facilities in the same areas and made a decision that would in the long run saved money for future boards.

well not really a true start… this is a 90 minute day at my boys school, and of course yesterday was a PRO-D day…

Enrolment isn’t declining everywhere. In Mackenzie, enrolment has been increasing for several years to the point where our elementary school is bursting at the seams. All this while we have a vacant second elementary school here in town that was closed five years ago which SD57 refuses to reopen.

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