‘Community school’ tag won’t stop closures in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Superintendent Rollie Koop explains that the process for designating community schools is a lengthy one



People linking the possibility of the community schools and the facilities review, which may result in the closure of local schools, could be disappointed, according to district superintendent Rollie Koop.

With the idea being raised at public meetings, the School District 69 (Qualicum) Board of Education asked staff to bring an assessment of the community schools model, what it would take for a school to become one and what the benefits may be, to the May board meeting.

Trustee Julie Austin asked if there was a way to get the report earlier, pointing out budget decisions have to be made in April, but recognizing with everything else going on staff wouldn’t be able to have it for the next board meeting in two weeks, before spring break.

“I would hate to see us loose the opportunity… to access some non-traditional funding avenues and access moneys for the school district,” Austin said.

Koop said if there is a direct link between the two issues for trustees, they would clear the deck and get the report done, but “I’m not sure that even if you had that information, it would influence decisions about recommendations on the process.”

He suggested that a school becoming a community school is a longer process than the current facilities review and possible school closures.

Trustee Eve Flynn supported the motion, but said she doesn’t see it as a priority before the facilities review. “Our problem is 4,000 kids in 6,000 seats and this is a model of operating a school with certain community assists and services.”

There are currently no community schools in the district. French Creek Elementary “operates somewhat as a community school,” as board chair Lynette Kershaw put it, but isn’t formally one, which requires specific things including a community school coordinator.

In the end trustees requested the report for their May meeting.

• The Board of Education passed their 2013/14 final budget of $49.1 million, just in time for the provincial deadline, with updated figures from the preliminary budget approved early in the school year. Because balanced budgets are required, they are using $583,031 from reserves to cover an operating deficit. The biggest change from the preliminary budget is a total of $223,926 in increased wage and benefit costs.

• In anticipation of possible changes to school uses based on the facilities review, the board voted to suspend their School Catchment Areas policy, pending its decisions after the 90-day public consultation period. If schools are closed, and/or grade levels are moved, a student’s designated school could change in the catchment area policy.

Just Posted

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read