Thursday, June 25, 2009

If at first you don't succeed... vote and vote again

Last weeks declaration of the end of the middle school option for Prince Rupert may have been just a little premature after all.

Wednesday night School District 52 held a special meeting at School Board offices to revisit the idea of a middle school for Prince Rupert and address other capital plan issues for the coming years.

The Northern View outlined some of the deliberations on the night, including a review of the contentious middle school issue, which had been defeated last week but now will be re-examined in September, apparently to provide for more consultation with the community.

The consultation will provide for a three month examination period, the nature of their reversal on Wednesday seems to leave one with the impression that the School District is rather keen on finding a way to have that middle school option accepted in some form.

With the middle school issue and the other aspects that evolve from it still in play now, the School District chose not to submit their project under a five year capital plan agenda, that was due on the 15th of May and was one of the reasons for the recent rush to reach a decision on the future of the district's education path.

The curious thing about all of this is why they made such a rush to judgment last week on the issue, instead of introducing the topic much earlier in this past school year to reach an informed and transparent decision.

While in the end it's a better approach to provide for full consultation and examination, one can't help but think that valuable time and money has been lost with the confusion and rushed nature of last weeks decisions.
More importantly it provides for more uncertainty for educators, parents and students for at least another six to nine months before a clear path is charted for education in the city.
The latest moves on the middle school issue, only seem to have added an exclamation point to the rather chaotic events in the School District this year. A timeline of controversy which started with the relocation troubles of the Pacific coast school, carried through to the mysterious departure of former Superintendent Eric Mercer and now to the confusing and emotional issues of grade reconfiguration and potential school closures for the community.
With a few months off over the summer to set things back on track, you have to hope that when September arrives, the process of decision making will be more informative and decisive, giving some sense of closure to where things are going in the future.

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