Rally to save Qualicum Beach Elementary School set for Saturday

"Learning needs to break free of the pedantic pressures of the past," says Anne Skipsey

The effort to save Qualicum Beach Elementary School (QBES) is shifting focus to the community school model and taking the message to the streets.

There will be a gathering and walk in support of the school this Saturday afternoon as part of the newly-formed Qualicum Beach Community School Steering Committee’s efforts to reach out.

“We believe the funding challenges faced by the Board of Education have presented us with an opportunity to build a healthier, more inclusive and cohesive school and community,” said committee co-chair Anne Skipsey.

The upheaval in the system could be an opportunity to change the way primary education is delivered, she said. “Learning needs to break free of the pedantic pressures of the past.”

Planning many community meetings, the first was at the Qualicum Beach Seniors Activity Centre Tuesday to speak to a couple dozen people about the community school model and the school’s importance in the core of the town.

“Right now, students can walk from school to Ravensong for swimming lessons, the museum for a history lesson, tour the fire hall or library, visit the town hall or the seniors’ centers,” Skipsey said.

“Our goal is not only to demonstrate the geographical advantages of QBES in its current location, but to also generate community awareness and involvement.”

The school is one of four that could be closed (with Parksville, Winchelsea and French Creek elementary schools) in a plan recommended by School District 69 (Qualicum) staff to move to a K-7 and grade 8-12 model, eliminating middle schools to save operating costs.

The community school group grew out of a group looking to save the school and it is gaining momentum.

Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek attended the meeting with a letter from the central and north Island United Way expressing interest in working within a Qualicum Beach community school as they do in other areas.

Looking for support for the community school model and calling on the school board to delay a decision for a year, the group is holding the public rally and walk “to demonstrate the benefits of maintaining a central location for elementary student education,” Skipsey said.

“We will be gathering, rain or shine, beside The Old School House (TOSH) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 and walking a 1.8 km route around town,” she said. “Everyone is welcome to join us at the beginning, the middle or the end of the walk.”

There will be refreshments, activities and entertainment at the end, where organizers hope to gather ideas that could help with the goal of creating the district’s first community school.

Check www.acebc.org for more on community schools, and saveQBES.com for the local group.

Just Posted

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

Fire engulfs trailer, vehicle and home in Bowser

The fire began around 6:45 p.m. at a property on Laurel Crescent

Have a heart for a cause in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Stained glass artist selling hearts for the homeless for what might be the last time

Canadian flag, pole heisted from Qualicum Beach business

Thieves remained busy during holiday season

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

First Parksville baby of 2019 born in Nanaimo hospital

Maverick Maurice Lapierre was five pounds, 11 ounces

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Port Alberni RCMP officers bear-sprayed by suspect

Police were responding at scene of traffic accident

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read