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

North Island – Powell River candidates chime in on housing issues

One of many questions asked at Thursday’s all-candidates forum at the Tidemark

RCMP Emergency Response Team called in to arrest man at Black Creek General Store

42-year-old Campbell River man facing numerous charges

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Campbell River man arrested, charged with property crime and drug offences

A Campbell River man was arrested Oct. 10 and remains in custody… Continue reading

Island Health project targets hepatitis C in northern Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island has one of the highest rates of hepatitis C infection in Canada

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read