Key school ideas a priority

School board chair Lynette Kershaw says public process will continue

School District 69 (Qualicum) has posted the big themes and key ideas from Phase 1 of the community dialogue process.

“There is some very clear direction from the community so far,” said superintendent Jim Ansell during Tuesday’s regular board meeting.

The dialogue process grew out of dissatisfaction with the process around fears of school closures and was designed by an independent committee to help trustees make decisions around enrolment and budget concerns.

The results of each public session were tabulated on the district website and dozens of pages of comments, questions and recommendations where condensed to a few brief highlights.

These included priorities like looking at new ways of delivering educational programs, including “taking full advantage of the community resources and learning opportunities linked to mentors and internships.”

The participants would also like to see “more sharing of information so that the community is aware of ongoing issues, what happens at the board level and what can happen, as well as the impact of legislation and collective agreements.”

A major recurring theme was the need to be more creative and flexible about how district facilities are used in collaboration with the communities.

They also highlighted the need to consider expanding revenue and reviewing expenditures and stressed that schools need to be maintained from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in each community.

Asked if the new board would remain committed to the process, new chair Lynette Kershaw said, “yes,” and then expanded that they didn’t know the exact format it would take, but that it is a priority.