Briefs from Feb. 21 school board meeting

SD78 discusses naloxone kits, Coquihalla Elementary play area, Kent Elementary's two new classrooms.

Naloxone kits

Fraser-Cascade School District 78 will explore putting naloxone kits in schools, after trustee Rose Tustian brought this up at the Feb. 21 board meeting.

According to HealthLinkBC, the kit helps reverse opioid overdoses and can be administered nasally or via injection. Only the latter is available for the general public.

Tustian’s initial motion was to put naloxone kits in schools, however, she added the word “explore” into her motion after hearing comments from assistant superintendent Kevin Bird.

Bird said that not all schools have these kits and said that putting “explore” into the motion would allow SD78 the leeway to continue understanding what steps they need to take.

Bird argued that administering naloxone requires training, something trustees said school staff do not have and might oppose if asked to do that.

“This isn’t just like Epipens,” said Bird. “This is an actual injection that has to be done properly and there are severe consequences when the individual wakes up.”

Bird added that public health authorities cannot train their staff either.

A person administering naloxone needs to have CPR training and prepare for violence afterwards, said Bird — a point reinforced by trustee Ron Johnstone who said he has seen that happen in his career as a firefighter.

School to get outside play area

Coquihalla Elementary School will get a covered, outside play area.

It will be roughly 8 metres wide by 18.5m long, and will cost $50,000 to $60,000 from the CES’s own funds. The structure will be separate from the school, on SD78 land, that will allow children to play during bad weather.

Kent Elementary gets two classrooms

Kent Elementary School will get two 80-square-metre classroom additions by September at a cost of $500,000 of SD78’s surplus funds.

The item came to the board after SD78 learned that the Ministry of Education will not fund these classrooms.

“We weren’t on the list because there’s some fairly significant challenges in districts that are growing at a seemingly quick rate,” said secretary-treasurer Natalie Lowe, “and we have room — it just means reconfiguring the schools which probably isn’t in the best interest of the district.”

If SD78 does not build these classrooms, KES will need portables, remove a handicap classroom or reconfigure the music room. Lowe said none will be optimal, although districts do make those decisions.

Trustee Tom Hendrickson said the student growth in SD78 will be in Agassiz and the school is getting full.