Former South Wellington Elementary School students are settling in to their new surroundings at Chase River Elementary School.
Grei Orser, a Grade 5 student, said she cried when she initially heard that South Wellington would be closed as part of the Nanaimo school district facilities plan last year but has warmed to her new school.
“Things are going really good,” said Orser. “I really like my teacher, her name is Ms. (Sue) Schlitz, and I have a few of my friends from South Wellington in my class. I’m really enjoying it. [Ms. Schlitz] is really nice, she’s really funny and she does a lot of fun things.”
Kerri Orser, Grei’s mother, is disappointed with the way the district handled the school’s transition and said her daughter could walk to her old school but has to take a 45-minute bus ride to Chase River now. She and other parents also miss South Wellington’s amenities.
“We were spoiled as a PAC (parent advisory council) there. As a member of the PAC, I have to say I didn’t appreciate as much what we had, but now that I see what we have to work with at other schools and the more limited space and things like that, I really enjoyed South Wellington.”
However, she said the South Wellington parents are making the most of the situation.
“We’re still trying to integrate our PACs and integrate the schools,” Kerri said. “It’s going to be different, but it’ll be fine.”
Tricia McKay, principal of Chase River Elementary, said school staff are carrying on with the school year. The South Wellington students seem to be fitting in well and the same with the parents.
“We had a one PAC meeting and there were quite a few members from the South Wellington parent group that were there and everything seems to be melding and blending nicely,” McKay said.