Port Edward at risk of losing elementary school

Port Edward not among list of rural schools on the education enhancement list fund.

School board chair Tina Last

The B.C. government has announced a new “rural education enhancement fund” designed to allow local school districts to keep rural schools open that were expected to be closed — but Port Edward isn’t among them.

The elementary school in Port Edward hasn’t been read its last rights yet but currently there are only 11-12 students projected to enrol in the next school year. The District of Port Edward met with the school board this month to discuss their options.

Students will be in a one-room school with students from kindergarten to Grade 5.

Three parents from Port Edward were at the council meeting on Tuesday, June 14. One of the mothers said “A K-5 class is not conducive to my daughter’s education.”

Mayor Dave MacDonald also voiced his concern.

“We’re worried we may not have a school,” he said adding that they’re on the verge of losing it.

The superintendent of School District 52, Sandra Jones, has a more positive perspective on the situation.

“We’re looking at it as an opportunity. We’ve had a few meetings with educators and we plan to make it a robust program for those kids,” Jones said.

The school district has considered having students from Port Edward take classes with other Grade 4 students in Prince Rupert, for example.

“I’m hoping people will trust the process in keeping that school alive,” Jones said.

The school will have Deb Taylor as the main teacher, who was the principal before. She plans to do an information session at the end of the school year to explain to parents how Port Edward Elementary will be a deep learning environment.

One of the challenges for parents and students in September will be transportation. School District 52 had a $1.9-million budget shortfall this year, transportation was axed and students who travel to Prince Rupert for school no longer have a school bus to take them there.

Parents from Port Edward were told two weeks ago that there will be no bus provided by the school district in the next school year, which was the main reason why three parents showed up to the council meeting in Port Edward.

The school will continue to have library support and noon-hour supervision and the school board has assigned a VP to help with preparation and manage other duties.

Still, there is concern that if the district doesn’t raise it’s enrolment there may not be a school for Port Edward elementary students in the future.

The provinces’ announcement this week to save other rural schools from shutting down will help the Quesnel school district, where Kersley and Parkland elementary schools were set to close. Premier Christy Clark announced the fund at a chamber of commerce meeting in Quesnel Wednesday.

Other eligible districts include Okanagan Similkameen school district, where Osoyoos secondary was scheduled to close; Kootenay Lake district, where elementary schools in Yahk and Winlaw were proposed for closure; Bulkley Valley school district, where Lake Kathlyn elementary was scheduled to close; Okanagan Skaha school district, where Trout Creek elementary in Summerland was expected to close.

With files from Tom Fletcher.

 

Just Posted

Prince Rupert wooed by Hometown Hockey, going over the top to answer the call

City is excited to showcase Prince Rupert’s livability — and hockey fandom — on the national stage

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Gitga’at and LNG Canada announce new Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility in Hartley Bay

LNG Canada providing financial support as committed in 2014 Impact Mitigation and Benefit Agreement

New Prince Rupert Port Authority vessel honours Ts’msyen culture

The AMWAAL was blessed by the Lax Kw’alaams hereditary chiefs’ council

COCULLO: What do you want Port Ed?

The District of Port Edward’s council meeting turned into the unwelcoming committee… Continue reading

WATCH: Jingle Boat, Jingle Boat, jingle all the way

Santa Claus visited the kids of Prince Rupert on the Inside Passage

The Northern View presents Santa Shops Here in Prince Rupert

More reasons to spend your shopping dollars locally

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

Most Read