On September 6 students from across the city will be heading back to school in a district that looks much different than when the final bell rang in June.
“Our schools are looking fantastic, the maintenance and custodial staff have gone above and beyond the get the schools ready. We’ve had a lot of change in the past year and moving teachers and staff and all those moves have happened. Everyone’s stuff is where it should be so we’re ready to start,” said superintendent Lynn Hauptman.
“I think people are pretty excited and raring to go.”
For the older students Prince Rupert Secondary School, which served students from grade eight to grade 12, is no more and Prince Rupert Middle School, which will serve students in grades six, seven and eight, is getting ready for its first year. Charles Hays Secondary School, which also ran from grades 8 to 12, is now the lone secondary school in town and will welcome all students from grade nine up.
“In the middle school we’ve opened up the front office space and a hallway upstairs to give it more of a middle school feel, and in Charles Hays we’ve put in a new art room,” explained Hauptman.
“There’s also some new logos that have been designed. The Prince Rupert Middle School will have the PRMS Storm while Charles Hays will be the Rainmakers.”
The remaining elementary schools will now run from kindergarten to grade five while the French Immersion program will start in its new home in Roosevelt Park Elementary following the closure of Westview Elementary.
“It’s going to be fun to get people rethinking elementary schools – how they look, how they operate and what they’re make-up is – and we’ll be providing some opportunity for leadership with the new students,” said Hauptman, adding that a lot of familiarization exercises were done for students in Roosevelt and Westview last year.
“They’re all going to be nice sized schools, all very similar in size, so all the teachers will have the opportunity to work with the students and with each other in the district.”
Another big change this year is Pacific Coast School, which will be moving from the old location across from Subway to the former City Furniture location in the Ocean Centre Mall. Work on the new location has been taking place throughout the summer.
“It will be right down to the wire, but sections of it should be ready to go for the opening,” said Hauptman.
“As a special school they have interviews and an introductory orientation with outdoor activities for the first bit, so it should be ready when the focus really turns to the classrooms.”
And while there is a lot of changes coming on the ground, the district is also getting ready to launch a new presence on the internet.
“With our new website, there is work behind the scenes. Right now we’re operating on the old one and the new one,” explained Hauptman.
“The new website will be more streamlined and accessible.”