Students at Sinkut View elementary Jump Rope for Heart.

Students at Sinkut View elementary Jump Rope for Heart.

Why Close Full Schools

Contributor asks why close Prairiedale and Sinkut View to utilize another school.

Minister,

My name is Kari Rae and I wanted to make you aware of some things that are happening in our school district: District 91, Nechako Lakes and specifically the town of Vanderhoof. School District 91 administration has put forward options for increasing the utilization of the schools in our town. All scenarios considered, except maintaining the status quo, involve closing two schools that are full and that maintain high academic standards and achievement.

These are sister schools; Prairiedale Elementary, which is K-3 and Sinkutview Elementary, which is 4-7. These schools have huge parental involvement and support and are an integral part of the community. The schools’ closures are considered to increase the utilization rate at another school in town that is currently not fully utilized and is in need of extensive repair. The district administration has expressed an interest in trying to get a new school to replace this one but we have been told it will not be in the near future.

As parents we feel our full and thriving schools are going to be closed to overfill an under-utilized one in the hopes that 10 years down the road a new school will be realized.

The district administration had been reluctant to share information during the community consultation period that has now ended. Remarks from the superintendant and school board chair have belittled the parents efforts to maintain our children’s positive eductional environment. The matter is now with the board of trustees to vote upon, which could happen as soon as June 17th. This is dependant upon whether the district provides requested information to the trustees to enable them to make an informed decision.

I feel this is information your office should have.We have done much research on the topic of school closures over the past several months and can find no reference or precendance for the closure of full schools. We realize that school closures have been a reality in many communities and these were due to declining enrollment and underutilization in those schools..

Why is this school district closing full schools? This is not a legacy to be proud of.

I have attached the speech that I made at the closing of our community consultation process as well as an interview that I did on CBC radio.

Thank you for your time and if you have further questions please feel free to contact me.

Regards:

Kari Rae