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

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Local health authority maps are updated each week. The brown maps show the number of confirmed and active cases of COVID-19 for the week of Jan. 15 to 21, with the blue map showing cases over the past year. (Image supplied)
COVID-19 outbreak numbers increase at Acropolis and exposures are up in S.D. 52

Business COVID-19 safety plans are law, public needs to follow health protocols - Northern Health

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read