We are writing in response to your headline and article ‘QBES in poorest condition of all’ (The NEWS, Jan. 28).
We would like to point out that the deferred maintenance at QBES (Qualicum Beach Elementary) is actually $2,295,384, not $3 million as reported. This is a significantly lower dollar amount than both of the high schools (Ballenas $6,933,200 and KSS $3,592,810) as well as the 20-year-old Oceanside Middle School ($2,781,971). We would also like to point out that deferred maintenance may include items such as a new stereo system and cosmetic repairs.
Also, the School District reported QBES as being 64 years old. According to the Town of Qualicum Beach, the first part of the school was actually built in 1967 (46 years old) and the addition of the music room, kitchen and six classrooms was done in 1982, only 32 years old, half of the reported age.
And what about the stat that tells about how efficiently schools are currently being run? When you look at the cost per full time student, QBES, currently at $1,132, is lower than all of the other schools in the district (QBMS $1,944, OMS $1,719) with the exception of the rural elementary schools, which receive additional funding from the province (QBES is operating at almost the same cost as Errington at $1,102).
QBES is currently thriving — with 254 students, 24 attending daycare and 60 at the CEAP program factored in, the school is operating at 87 per cent of reported capacity, which is also much higher than most other schools in the district. Not to mention the wait list to get in.
We would suggest your headline should have read instead “QBES is one of the best in district.” It is all a matter of perspective.
Anne Skipsey & Anna Sjoo