Public forums on school plan underway

NANAIMO – First of four public meetings to collect feedback on school district's proposed 10-year facilities plan happened last night.

Public meetings to collect feedback on Nanaimo school district’s proposed 10-year facilities plan are underway.

With two weeks left in the two-month public consultation process, school officials are urging people to attend one of the forums – the first of which happened after the News Bulletin’s deadline last night – that are designed to encourage dialogue and discussion about the draft plan, including proposed school closures.

The plan proposes major changes to facilities across the district, including closing a net total of 10 school facilities, rebuilding four facilities, pursuing the addition of enrichment programs to a number of schools, relocating the learning alternative programs, adjusting the French immersion program and relocating administrative functions.

The most immediate actions include closing the South Wellington and North Oyster elementary schools and the junior learning alternatives site at Five Acres at the end of June.

Consultation began April 26 with a separate online public engagement process for each school in the district as well as one for the general public, in which people were asked to share their thoughts on the plan and similar thoughts were grouped together and then the feedback returned to participants to prioritize.

Donna Reimer, school district spokeswoman, said more than 7,700 thoughts were posted about the proposed plan and the district has also received about 70 written submissions.

“I think the information we’ve received to date … has made it very clear what people’s concerns are,” she said.

The forums will include a short opening session followed by discussion groups based on concerns people brought up in the online process. People can choose to participate in more than one of the discussion groups.

Reimer said this format is intended to allow more dialogue to happen, rather than the one-way discussion of a presentation-style meeting, and people are welcome to suggest alternatives or bring up points they feel have not been addressed yet.

The meeting for Cedar and John Barsby-zone schools took place last night (please see the News Bulletin’s Saturday edition for coverage) and the NDSS and Woodlands meeting takes place tonight (June 13). Next week parents and community members in Ladysmith have their say Monday (June 17) and the Dover Bay and Wellington-area consultation is Wednesday (June 19).

The board is expected to make a decision on the proposed plan at its June 26 meeting. For more information, please go to www.sd68.bc.ca.

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

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Property tax increase ‘heartless’ in these hard times

Pandemic has cost people their jobs, notes letter writer

Provincial funding will help Regional District of Nanaimo create poverty reduction strategy

RDN partnering with member municipalities and Islands Trust on regional study

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

Beefs & Bouquets, June 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo’s Rocky Point

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Most Read