The Board of Education scholarships for School District 69 (Qualicum) will increase by 60 per cent for the 2020-2021 school year.
During the Dec. 15 board meeting, district trustees voted to allocate $8,000 to the scholarships, awarded to four Parksville Qualicum Beach high school students who plan to attend a post-secondary institution.
Ballenas Secondary School (BSS), Kwalikum Secondary School (KSS), Parksville Alternate Secondary School (PASS) and the Collaborative Education Alternative Program (CEAP) will each receive $2,000 for applying students.
Last school year saw the board’s scholarship at $5,000, where $2,000 went to BSS, $1,000 went to PASS and the final $2,000 was split between KSS and CEAP.
The agenda item initially dictated that only $6,000 would be allocated, where $2,000 would go to BSS and KSS, and $1,000 to PASS and CEAP.
However, vice chairperson Julie Austin raised the point during the Dec. 15 board meeting that if students are continuing with their studies, it should not matter “what their delivery of studies were,” whether through PASS, CEAP, KSS or BSS.
“I think we should acknowledge their accomplishment and that they are furthering their studies,” said Austin.
Associate superintendent Gillian Wilson gave thanks to the board for increasing the amount.
“I know that the $2,000 amount is really appreciated from our students. There’s not many scholarships that have such a significant number attached to it,” she said.
According to the BSS Guide to Local Scholarships 2019-2020, The board scholarships are given as encouragement for “the pursuit of excellence in all areas of student achievement.”