Kersley Parents ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ Their Rural School Will Be Saved
Kersley, B.C. – Parents in Kersley have circled June 30 on their calendars.
That’s the day they’ve been told they will find out whether their school, Kersley Elementary, will survive the chopping block.
The school is one of three slated to close in the Quesnel School District though it was given an apparent reprieve last week when the provincial government announced the so called ‘Rural Education Enhancement Fund’ to keep nine rural schools in B.C. open.
Two of those schools are located in the Quesnel School District – the other is Parkland Elementary.
“We don’t have a definitive answer, Christy Clark has assured us that the funds will be made available to save our school, all that needs to take place is the school board needs to apply for those funds and make it happen,” says Shannon Wilwand, mother to three children at the school and member of the Friends of Kersley School Committee.
“We had a parent talk to Sue-Ellen Miller (the district superintendent) and she reportedly said on the 30th they will have a definitive answer.”
(Miller did not respond to a 250News interview request by publication time).
She adds she is “cautiously optimistic” the decision will go in their favour noting the school is the “heart of the community.”
“It really is. The Kersley Community Association, we do all kinds of things based around our kids and the community and the school. If we lost the school, we would lose that heartbeat of our community.”
Should the school close, Wilwand says the kids would have to endure being bussed up Highway 97 to Lakeview Elementary which is really unnecessary in a growing community.
“This year we have 61 students, last year we had 57. We’re losing four students to high school but we have already seven kids registered for kindergarten next year,” she says.
“So again, we’re showing signs of growth. And we just had a family move into the area with kids so again our numbers are growing. If they take our school away, we lose that growth possibility because nobody wants their kids to bus for two or three hours a day.”