Trustees Vote in Favour of Reopening Springwood Elementary
Prince George, B.C. – It’s official, after twenty-two school closures in the Prince George School District since 2002 the Prince George School Board has changed course and voted in favour of reopening one.
Springwood Elementary School in the Hart was closed in 2010 but will reopen in time for the new school year in September.
The District says the opening was made possible by the BCTF’s Supreme Court of Canada victory last year in their battle with the Province over class size and composition. The District estimated it would have required them to open an additional 10 classrooms at Hart Highlands, Glenview and Heather Park elementary schools.
Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the reopening but not without raising a number of questions.
Trustee Tony Cable for example was reassured the new school will be brought up to standard with all schools in the district including having a fully stocked gym, library, school office and computers.
Secretary-treasurer Allan Reed also noted reopening Springwood was the most cost effective and least disruptive.
For example had they opted for portables he said it would have required 10 units at a cost of $100,000 each.
Superintendent Marilyn Marquis-Forster said another option would have been moving Grade 7 students at Glenview and Heather Park to Kelly Road which she said “would have been disruptive.”
Trustee Sharel Warrington said reopening Springwood will also offer “A chance for students and families to grow a community.”
The reopening will require the District to revise the catchment areas for Heather Park Elementary and Glenview Elementary schools.
Students currently enrolled in Grade 6 in the proposed new catchment area for Springwood Elementary will be permitted to remain at their current school for Grade 7. The student transfer process is set to run from April 10 to 21.
The District has also suggested reopening Springwood Elementary was a good option because enrolment at Heather Park, Hart Highlands and Glenview elementary schools is projected to be near or at operating capacity this September.
The District says a communication plan involving contact with affected families will happen shortly.