School areas policy being updated

Measure passes first hurdle at board

Fears of school closure are so prevalent in School District 69 (Qualicum) that even the people who will ultimately make the decisions are on edge.

Reviewing proposed updates to Board Policy 7015: Student Catchment Areas, Trustee Inez Hutchison said the new terminology about facilities, physical space, enrolment and educational programs, “looks like it’s all making it easier to close a school.”

Assistant superintendent Rollie Koop, who was on the district policy committee that routinely updates policies and bylaws, said the changes are meant to make it clear who has the first right to attend specific schools.

He said they spent a lot of time on it and language changes were very purposeful to bring it in line with the School Act and make clear things like the order of priority of students from returning students who live in the catchment area at one end to students from completely outside the district at the other end.

With some discussion the board agreed with most of the changes and passed first reading with some details to work on for the next reading.