SD71 considering school relocation

Proposed move is part of a money-saving long-range plan

  • Oct. 28, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

The Comox Valley School District is considering relocating École Puntledge Park Elementary to Lake Trail School — but not without first consulting the community.

The proposed move is part of a long-range plan that would offer more space and seats for dual track French immersion, and potentially save SD71 about $720,000 on an ongoing basis.

Another idea is to convert Puntledge, Arden and Courtenay Elementary to kindergarten to Grade 7 schools, and to expand Courtenay Elementary boundaries into Arden and Puntledge.

“No decisions have been made,” SD71 Supt. Sherry Elwood said Tuesday, prior to a school board meeting. The agenda included a list of points of consultation. “It’s a list of thoughts and ideas for the board to consider, after we’ve received feedback.”

The list, she said, is as broad as changing secondary boundaries, and as narrow as engaging the Puntledge community about walking the school across the field to Lake Trail, which is only half full in terms of student enrolment.

“It is easily able to serve the École Puntledge community and the Lake Trail community,” Elwood said. “We are legally obliged to start the conversation with a statement about the consideration of closure.”

Aligning things across the district would yield efficiencies in terms of buildings and funding.

“But more importantly there’s an efficiency in terms of programming,” Elwood said. “This is all about levelling out… We can try to level the district as much as possible so there isn’t inequities between buildings.”

The district would like to level the populations at the three Valley high schools to optimize programming. Vanier has about 1,200 students while Highland has just 625. Isfeld’s enrolment is about 900.

“Just think about what you can offer in an 8-to-12 system when you have 1,200 kids, or what you can offer at 650,” Elwood said. “You can’t offer the same amount of courses.”

A separate consultation process will consider the structure of French immersion programs. As is stands, the district has dual track (English and French) at Puntledge and single track (French only) at École Robb Road in Comox.

A recommendation is to move to dual track programs at Robb Road and at Airport Elementary at the base.

“We’re talking about equity of access,” Elwood said.

A school closure public meeting will be held in February, at which time a report from Elwood will be presented to the school board. In March, the board will render a final decision on closure and French immersion.

In the meantime, the consultation process will garner feedback by way of face-to-face meetings, online comments and, where appropriate, feedback from high school students. The proposed changes could be implemented by the next school year.

 

Just Posted

Trail and parking upgrades beginning at Seal Bay Park

Park upgrade work is planned at the Comox Valley Regional District’s (CVRD)… Continue reading

More than 2 million salmon to be released into Puntledge River

Water flows will be higher than usual next week

Woman assaulted at Bill Moore Park in Courtenay

Female grabbed from behind Thursday morning

Comox presentation on cycling the Silk Road

Do you enjoy fascinating cycling stories? Interested in education in the developing… Continue reading

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Cyclists can choose round trip from Comox to Nanaimo, or Alberni-Nanaimo-Comox

The Boomer’s Legacy British Columbia Bike Ride is back. In a couple… Continue reading

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

Prepare yourself for tick season, says Island Health official

2017 saw three reported cases of Lyme disease

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Most Read