The SD52 board meeting on Sept. 13 addressed overcrowding issues and water tests.

Prince Rupert student population drops below 2,000

For the first time ever, the SD52 total student body has dropped below the 2,000 mark

For the first time ever, the Prince Rupert school district (SD52) student body has dropped below 2,000. At the Sept. 13 board meeting, it was reported going into the second week of school, that a total of 1,963 students are enrolled in SD52. The district expects movement upward, but current numbers represent a total drop of 109 students from final district enrolment numbers at the conclusion of 2015-16, when 2,072 students were enrolled.

Overcrowding in classes

A few Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) classes are experiencing higher than expected numbers, with a shortage of desks being experienced in the early days of school.

A parent at the board meeting stated that her daughter needed to be bumped from a pre-calculus math course, and Prince Rupert Middle School (PRMS) parent Kelly Johnson reported the week before the meeting that the middle school was experiencing a shortage of tables for students to eat their lunches at, resulting in a few having to eat in the hallways, due to messy classrooms. PRMS principal Michele Cross-Pomponio said that there was no shortage of tables, but the school was trying something new for lunches that did not work out, and that students are back eating lunches in their classrooms.

SD52 superintendent Sandy Jones confirmed that there were higher numbers than normal in classrooms and they’re sorting through it.

“It happens every year. I’ve timetabled [CHSS] for a lot of years and you’ve always got hot spots. You’ve got some areas where the classes get big and some where the classes are small. It’s not a simple equation and we try not to let that happen. This year there were a few hot spots and it’s disruptive. It’s not what we aim for,” said Jones.

Administrative savings redirected to SD52

The Ministry of Education redirected $25 million back to B.C. school districts, and SD52 received $123,861. The district’s operating budget was adjusted to $488,665 from $500,930. More support for exchange students and kindergarten students was added, with an increase to select salary exempt employees who had previously seen a six-year wage freeze. Getting occupational health and safety measures up to code was identified as a priority, and needed to be addressed. $100,000 was set aside for this, but trustee Janet Beil said that that figure was too high to oversee a district with such a small population and said a full-time employee to oversee occupational health and safety for SD52 employees is too much. The board approved the adjusted budget, and the board will search for cheap options to get the need up to code, like sharing someone with expertise with another district or organization.

Water tested before school

On Aug. 31 a round of water quality sampling tests of all SD52 buildings took place and all water sources came back with an acceptable rating, except for three sources exceeding acceptable lead levels, all sink faucets. The first is a sink in the upstairs science room at Prince Rupert Middle School, which has signage saying it’s not available for consumption. The second is at Pacific Coast School, and it will have lead reduction water filters installed at domestic water lines. The third is at the School Board Office, and it’s designated as a non-potable tap water source building. Water is available from water coolers.

“Water flushing systems have been installed and made operational in all district buildings and new water fountains are the only fountains available in all the various schools,” said SD52 secretary-treasurer Cam McIntyre. With guidance from Northern Health, SD52 has spent $300,000 toward safe drinking water and a lead mitigation program, $150,000 of which has come from the Ministry of Education’s School Enhancement Program.

 

Just Posted

Charles Hays boys are kings of the Northwest cross country zones

Prince Rupert’s team, and six individuals, qualify for provincials in Abbotsford

Prince Rupert swimmers come out champions in regional swim meet

Handful of swimmers qualify for provincials

MVP of the Week: Hockey and McArthur are like a pair of old chums

Gary McArthur founded a league for those who aren’t quite ready to hang up their skates

UPDATE: Missing Prince Rupert boy found an hour after community widely shares news story

Brayden Quick was given up by his friends after community rallies and shares story

Heart of Our City: Even kids can be a part of something big

Aisa Smithanik makes sure to include her family, and students, in her volunteer work

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Most Read