Carihi forestry students Dion Dufresne and Brodie Doherty kept working while a group of VIPs – including Education Minister Peter Fassbender – toured the school and met industry supporters and foresty program instructors Nov 29.

Campbell River school trustees meet with education minister

The minister then visited Carihi Secondary’s Forestry Program on Friday

The School District 72 Board of Education was pleased met with Education Minister, Peter Fassbender Nov. 28 at the School Board Office.

The minister then visited Carihi Secondary’s Forestry Program on Friday, Nov. 29.

Trustees used the meeting with the Minister to stress the challenge of meeting student needs in the face of unforeseen cost pressures, such as non-funded wage increases, while still striving to provide a quality education with diversified programming, more personalized learning, and adequate supports for students with special needs.

It was also highlighted that recent government decisions to cut BC Ferries services and further raise BC Hydro rates will negatively impact the district, students and the communities within School District 72. Trustees are concerned that service cuts to BC Ferries will impact Quadra Island and Cortes Island students who rely on ferry transportation to attend middle and secondary schools in Campbell River and participate in school sports and other extracurricular activities. Other topics of discussion included aging infrastructure of many district schools; changes to bargaining and the role of school trustees within the BC Public School Employers’ Association; parent advisory council concerns around continuous fundraising; and ConnectEdBC, the new student information system that the Ministry of Education is rolling out.

“We have not had an Education Minister in the district for a long time and it was very good to sit one-on-one to express our concerns and showcase some of our district’s many successes,” said Michele Babchuk, School District 72 Board of Education chairperson.