McBride Meeting ‘A Great First Step’ in Addressing Co-Location of Schools
McBride, B.C. – Parents in McBride are breathing a littler easier following a meeting discussing the possibility of co-locating the community’s elementary and high schools.
It took place last night at McBride Secondary School and included parents, school trustees and senior administration from the Prince George School District.
Parents went into the meeting fearing that co-location might happen a lot sooner than the school district had anticipated because of a drop in the student population.
The Prince George School Board decided against a Cascades Facility report recommendation at their Nov. 1st, 2016 public meeting to co-locate the town’s schools starting next school year.
The Board felt that wouldn’t be necessary for at least three or four more years – or until the combined student population of both schools dipped below 150 students.
The concern from parents though is that the population will dip below 150 sometime next year – not three or four years down the road.
(In June, the school district estimated the population of McBride Secondary School to be 72 students while the student population at McBride Centennial Elementary was estimated at 94 students).
“It was a great first step towards resolving some of these rural school issues,” said Karen Dube, chair of the McBride Secondary School Parent Advisory Council, noting she left the meeting with the feeling the 150 number would be flexible moving forward.
“The 150 number will be changed to reflect the intention of the board. So, we are really happy that’s in fact what’s going to happen. It will buy us more time to really consider carefully how we would like to see co-location happen in the future if it indeed comes back to the table.”
School board chair Tony Cable confirmed that the 150 number is not set in stone.
“Senior staff and the trustees I believe would be willing to look at that 150 number and we’re not sure where that number will arrive at. We just want to look at some stability over the next few years,” he said.
“We have two schools that are an important part of the community so if we can find some stability for the community and keep them open that would be great. So, we will be going back to the drawing board and working with our senior staff and just seeing if there’s a different number or what we can do to keep those two schools open.”
Dube is hoping for a more detailed commitment from the school district soon.
“We are hoping to have something more formalized in place for consultation so that we can see some of our ideas and concepts that we put together in McBride and addressed formally at board meetings and perhaps we’ll see some resolutions come from that that would be concrete. So, we’re hopeful for sure.”