Two new portables will be added at Chemainus Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year to temporarily handle the growing number of students.
A meeting held at Chemainus Secondary School last Wednesday with parents of Grade 7 students heard considerable objection to moving them into the high school.
School District 79’s Board of Education then met the next day to make a decision, unanimously passing a resolution to purchase two portables and locate them on the playing field to be ready for occupancy in December 2018. Students will be temporarily accommodated in the school between September and December until the portables become available as best determined by staff.
“The board is pleased that this decision has been made as quickly as possible and that the conversation with parents the evening before provided the board with useful information in the decision-making,” noted Board of Education Chair Candace Spilsbury. “We appreciate the honesty, respect and creativity shown at the meeting.”
“We are going to make do with the situation just as we have every other year we’ve been in this growing population,” said Chemainus Elementary School principal Brenda Stevenson.
“I was really impressed with everything. I was impressed with the willingness and the collaboration between the School Board and the parent group to come up with a solution in a timely manner. “I think it was a really fabulous example of kids first.”
Spilsbury stressed the decision is only for 2018-2019. The growing Chemainus community enrolment, accentuated by the closure of St. Joseph’s Catholic School to accommodate some of those students, may require another solution in the long term.
“Our staff will explore the considerations that parents mentioned at the meeting and prepare information for us to consider for our future planning,” Spilsbury indicated. “It is anticipated that we will hold conversations with the school community regarding future student enrolment, likely beginning in November, 2018.”