Reconfiguring floor plans — More meetings about school closures in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Halfway through the school board's 90-day consultation on their facilities review and possible school closures, the superintendent sees a natural progression.

"There seems to be thematic progressions," said Rollie Koop. "We've gone from playgrounds to deferred maintenance, to right now, we're talking about . . . exploratory options in our facilities."

He said while no decisions have been made and it is only a preliminary step, the board and staff started looking at floor plans to see if all the students and ages will actually work where they plan.

"What are the spaces in the building and what is the relationship between the specialty spaces and what we might actually offer?"

He said they are also looking into how many specialty teachers and other positions they will be able to keep.

Along with the regular public meetings, the board is holding numerous meetings with various stakeholder groups including staff, parents, unions, government of all levels, and others, to help gather as much feedback as possible before the April 29 meeting to consider the recommendations.

The facilities review report recommends a K-7 and Grade 8-12 education model and the closure of four elementary schools to help cover a growing operational deficit: Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Winchelsea and French Creek.

The next public meetings are scheduled for Qualicum Beach Middle School (7 p.m., Mon., March 10) and Springwood Middle School (7 p.m. Wed., April 16). There is also a special Toward a Future for Schools meeting 7 p.m. tonight (March 13) at Oceanside Middle School. Check for more on the 'facilities review' or e-mail for more information or to submit feedback.

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