School district tustee Richard Franklin (left) meets with a group of parents and interested community members at meeting concerning closure at Discovery Passage Elementary in 2016. File photo

Campbell River school trustees want review of school closure effects

Board only wants information and is not reconsidering closure decisions

School District 72 is reviewing its decision to close schools in recent years.

The board asked staff to prepare a report on the subject, though trustees stress the move is not about re-considering the decisions.

Rather, they want to get more information about what effects the closures at Oyster River and Discovery Passage elementary schools have had. The board voted to close the schools in 2016, with students to be absorbed into catchment areas for adjacent schools.

RELATED STORY: Board votes to close both Discovery Passage and Oyster River schools

Veteran board member Daryl Hagen brought forward the request at the Nov. 27 board meeting.

“Sometimes, it’s good to look backwards and say, ‘Was it the right decision or not?’” he said. “It’s easy to look to the future, but sometimes it’s hard to look to the past because sometimes things don’t always work out the way we thought.”

Hagen wanted to make clear his request was not about re-opening any facilities but to re-examine the lessons that could be learned from the process. He noted there have been developments since the board made a decision to close the schools, such as changes in the language concerning classroom composition as well as developments happening in the community in the area near Oyster River, particularly with a subdivision developing at Dogwood Street and growth at the Ocean Grove school. He said he wants to determine if there have been unintended outcomes.

Trustee John Kerr expressed a bit of concern, saying he expects the majority of students who would have gone to Oyster River Elementary live north of York Road, which is closer to Ocean Grove Elementary, adding that if there were any move in the future to re-open a school, it could prove difficult to get students to return from the school they currently attend.

Trustee Joyce McMann supported the idea of looking at how the transition unfolded after initially getting feedback from parents following the closures.

“It would be nice to get an update,” she said, though she added she wants to make sure the review process does not take up excessive staff time. “I think there is a sort of a check-in that might take place that wouldn’t be too cumbersome.”

RELATED STORY: Possible Discovery Passage school closure ‘difficult to deal with’

Trustee Susan Wilson reiterated the point about getting an update, saying the district is approaching the halfway point of its 10-year facilities plan. The board, she said, could benefit from information about the different aspects of closing schools, which could be presented alongside other facilities plan information updates, such as the implementation of technology at school facilities. She did not want to give staff a firm deadline on the report though because of their other time commitments and priorities.

“It doesn’t have to be a really in-depth one,” she said. “It wouldn’t be the top of my priority list, but it would be of interest to get an update at some point.”

The motion carried. The staff report will consider factors such as cost savings and space implications, along with other implications for the district’s 10-year facilities plan.

Just Posted

Regional board authorizes bylaws to fund Cortes Island community halls, first responder service

Negotiations on contracts to fund two community halls and provide first responder… Continue reading

Striking Western Forest Products workers willing to ‘modify position’ if talks progress

Brian Butler, USW 1-1937 president, says union and WFP to meet Thursday, Dec. 12

Christmas Market raises more than $6,500 for struggling forestry families

Money, gifts, non-perishable food items donated to Loonies for Loggers

KidStart wants you to give the gift of time this Christmas

‘It makes people feel valued, and that’s one of the most important things in the world’

North Island emergency and safety organizations get government funding

Seven not-for-profit emergency and safety organizations in the North Island received $219,500… Continue reading

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

BREAKING: Emergency crews responding to plane crash on Gabriola Island

The Island is located about five kilometres east of Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

Most Read