School Board makes tough decision

The redrawing of catchment boundaries for the Fraser-Cascade School District commences after months of deliberation

  • Fri Mar 11th, 2016 6:00pm
  • News

Linda Kerr

The Fraser-Cascade School District and District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) have been asking for input from Hope area parents for consideration in future decisions about the potential redrawing of catchment boundaries over the past couple of months.

In the wake of the C.E. Barry Intermediate school closure in June of 2014—due to seismic safety concerns—students were given the option to go to Coquihalla elementary (Grade 5 and 6,) Silver Creek elementary (Grade 7) and Hope secondary schools (Grade 7.)

Participants in the forums that were held at Hope Secondary School were part of the process to help decide the future of Grade 7 students, catchment boundary considerations and bus route considerations.

After months of careful deliberation, a decision was made by the School Board regarding the aforementioned items.

The District Advisory Committee carefully reviewed all of the data and information provided from a variety of sources prior to making the following recommendation that was passed at the regular meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday Mar. 1, 2016.

That the Board of Education for School District No. 78 (Fraser-Cascade): maintain Grade 7 at Silver Creek Elementary School; accommodate up to two (2) grade 7 divisions at Hope Secondary in September 2016; and continue to provide bussing from Coquihalla to Silver Creek Elementary.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents/guardians, staff members and community members for taking the time to complete surveys, attend community forums, and provide input into this process. The information provided was invaluable in assisting the Board of Education in making an informed decision.

“Our administrators, teachers and support staff members are highly professional and we are confident that whatever decision parents/guardians make regarding the placement of their children, that their educational experience will be a positive one,” said Superintendent Dr. Karen Nelson.

Members of the board felt the students were lucky to get the space that they did with the potential lack of support from The Finance Ministry, who will not fund classrooms when there is room in other buildings.

“I feel the board made an educationally sound, thoughtful, mindful and respectful decision. Although this decision is not perfect, I strongly believe the collaborative problem-solving process listened to everyone’s perspectives, carefully identified the critical information and rendered the best possible choice,” said School Board Trustee.

“I can fully appreciate not everyone gets what they want out of this decision.  A consensus building choice is often based on compromise,” said School Board Trustee John Koopman.”