Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Second consultation night with School District 52 set for Wednesday

The second opportunity for Prince Rupert residents to learn more and ask questions about potential changes at School District 52 comes up on Wednesday night at Charles Hays Secondary School.

On Wednesday night the School District hosts its second public consultation on planned grade configuration changes and the potential closure of Prince Rupert Secondary School, a topic that has provided for much discussion over the last year and a half when it first began to build some traction.

November 23rd was the first of the current round of consultations, an open forum at Charles Hays that saw the School District outline it's thoughts on changes to the grade configuration and with it the creation of a middle school and the closure of Prince Rupert Secondary School.

Four different options were presented each one offering up a change to the current configuration, but all seemingly steering parents towards the concept of the middle school and merger of the city's two high schools into one.

There was no timetable discussed in the first meeting, more of a general overview, which leaves one with the impression that the most likely scenario would see the current situation in place for one more year while preparations for the changeover would take place, if the concept is approved by School District trustees.

One of the major sticking points may be the plan to bring grade six into the middle school agenda, making the middle school host to grades six, seven and eight and moving the high school students from grades nine to twelve into the Charles Hays building.

If the school district moves grade six students out of the neighbourhood schools then most likely more school closures would be on the agenda as numbers decline in those neighbourhood schools, that may prove to be an emotional issue for parents who have seen the School district consolidate schools on the east side over the last few years.

The change in configuration would also leave Annunciation school, the city's Independent school with a decision to make. Currently that school offers a K to Grade 7, with the potential changes to the school district, their council and management will have to decide whether to carry on as they are, increase their curriculum to include Grade eight or eliminate Grades six and seven and stream their students into the middle school after grade five.

Also to be heard from will be Port Edward, where the District council has begun a study to try to find a way to ensure that their community school remains open regardless of the School District configuration plans.

Northern View-- Prince Rupert School District talks school closure and configuration options
Northern View-- Port Edward votes to study options to keep its school open
Daily News-- SD52 looking hard at middle school option

CFTK TV 7 News

Wednesday's meeting takes place at 7 pm, in the multi purpose room of Charles Hays Secondary School on Prince Rupert Boulevard, it will be in the form of a round table discussion session. Where parents and other interested residents can discuss the School reorganization and potential closure options.

Those interested can review the notes from the last session of November 23rd, as the School District has posted it's Power Point presentation on their website.

For those who cannot make it to Wednesday's gathering, the School District is offering up two ways to provide your input, you can email your thoughts on the issue at consult@sd52.bc.ca

Or you can send them a letter with your thoughts or concerns, addressed to:

Board of Education,
School District No. 52
634 Sixth Avenue East
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1X1

The School District will make its final decision early in 2010, what remains to be seen is if their vision and that of Prince Rupert parents , taxpayers, teachers and students will be on the same page at that time.
Update: Dec 1, 2009 -- Late Tuesday evening the Northern View received a copy of a letter from the teachers of Prince Rupert Secondary School to the School District trustees. The letter outlines their concerns and questions on the grade configuration plans and planned shift to a middle school program. It makes for an interesting view of those plans and asks some hard questions on the process that need to be addressed by the School District, from the Northern View website you can view its contents here.

No comments: