Springwood Elementary School kindergarten teacher Ashley Wiet prepares her classroom last week for the arrival of 2016’s group of new students

Springwood Elementary School kindergarten teacher Ashley Wiet prepares her classroom last week for the arrival of 2016’s group of new students

Eve Flynn remains chair of District 69-Qualicum school board

It took a vote to determine who was going to be vice-chair

Eve Flynn was unanimously elected to return as chair of the School District 69 (Qualicum) Board of Trustees Tuesday in a special meeting following the board’s regular monthly meeting at the school board office in Parksville.

Jacob Gair was elected vice-chair in a vote by ballot after he and previous vice-chair Elaine Young were both nominated for the post.

Flynn’s re-election to the chair was also done through a ballot procedure, but was effectively by acclimation as she was the only nominee for the position.

The other board members going into the 2016-17 school year remain Young, Julie Austin and Barry Kurland.

In other news from last week’s school board meeting:

• The board voted unanimously to eliminate the charging of transportation fees to eligible riders effective immediately. The move comes in response to the Ministry of Education’s injection of additional funding for transportation, announced Aug. 10.

The move will save each family $75 per eligible student rider. A $125 annual fee for courtesy riders, those students who are bused to schools outside their home catchment area, will remain in place.

To be eligible to receive a portion of the $15 million available province-wide, districts had to agree to waive existing fees, secretary-treasurer Ron Amos told the board. SD69’s share of the funding comes to $426,341.

Last year there were a total of 1,721 students in the district transported by bus, including 1,080 whose fees would now be waived. There were 388 courtesy riders whose families would continue to pay the out-of-area transportation fee.

Another 253 riders, made up of international students and those on financial assistance, who were already under a fee waiver.

• The board voted to approve free flu shots for school district staff who choose to get the vaccination. Last year, Amos told the board, 130 staffers took advantage of the program at $20 per shot, for a total cost to the district of $2,600.

The vote was unanimous.