Ladysmith Secondary School open house for Cedar students

Ladysmith Secondary School hosts open house presentation for bewildered Cedar students

Ladysmith Secondary School hosted an open house last Wednesday after the prospect of a fresh influx of students from out of town became more likely.

The open house featured a detailed presentation to the students, parents and people of Cedar Secondary School who are in limbo following School District 68’s decision to close the high school there.

With Cedar Secondary set to close, students who currently attend the school have the option of moving to John Barsby Community School in Nanaimo, or Ladysmith Secondary.

Cedar Secondary is the only high school in Cedar and Barsby has now been classed as the inevitable catchment school, but the LSS option is seemingly more popular.

“This is far from over as we’re still fighting it (the closure of Cedar Secondary),” said Steve Rae from the Save Cedar School coalition. “The other night at Ladysmith Secondary was fantastic. The staff were very welcoming and its very similar to our school in terms of the academic demographics and the courses they offer.

“Ladysmith is at the same academic level as us. There’s no woodwork and metalwork at Barsby and the kids that go there don’t sign up for the same classes as ours do — they don’t even offer Math 12. We actually forced Ladysmith to have the open house but they made us feel welcome. It’s by far the best fit.”

The students at Cedar have until Nov. 22 to choose Ladysmith Secondary in what is a “one-time option” as described by SD68.

Rae claims his coalition has been trying to engage SD68 hierarchy and trustees since April 2012, to no avail.

“We’ve came up with 33 different proposals in the past, they haven’t listened to us in any meaningful way, and now they’re going to close our school — it’s a joke. They should be ashamed of themselves,” said an irate Rae.

He also claims that SD68 are only preparing bus routes to Barsby once Cedar closes, and not Ladysmith, thus “forcing” Cedar students to pick the Nanaimo option.

“It’s ridiculous. The reason they’re forcing us to go to Barsby is because the school district recently asked the provincial government for $61 million to build a new high school in Nanaimo. Barsby is only 60% full so they’re trying to drive us there to get the money for a new school.”

According to Rae, Barsby recently hosted a similar presentation and open house to Ladysmith at which 30 people from Cedar showed up. The open house at LSS saw 150 come out.

He envisions over 75% of Cedar’s kids choosing the Ladysmith option despite the apparent lack of buses scenario and claims the high school closure will “devastate” Cedar’s community.

He also says Snuneymuxw First Nation is set to file a lawsuit against SD68 as they “feel they weren’t consulted.”

Save Cedar Schools is planning to support Snuneymuxw with the lawsuit.

Cedar Secondary currently has a 107% student capacity. It has a 97% graduation rate — the highest in the district.

LSS principal Dave Street was unavailable for comment at press time.

Just Posted

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP files ‘historic appeal’ to save proposed legislation

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson filed a “historic appeal” on Thursday to have… Continue reading

Chemainus Secondary’s Janet Ruest receives excellence award from Governor General

Chemainus Secondary School teacher Janet Ruest was recognized in Ottawa on Wednesday.

VIU nursing students conduct survey on Ladysmith early years programming

Fourth year nursing students at Vancouver Island University have teamed up with… Continue reading

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP seeks secret ballot to save abandoned vessels bill

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson is seeking a secret ballot to save her private member’s bill.

Founder Smith’s vision will live on through the Chemainus Theatre Festival

Death of Ken Smith brings much reflection from a grateful community

UPDATE: More searchers out looking for missing senior near Nanaimo

Search and rescue personnel from all over the Island are looking for 73-year-old Faye Hanson

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

15 arrested as Duncan police raid yields drugs, stolen property

Arrests made, drugs and stolen property seized

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Mounties dismantle counterfeiters ring with raid in Maple Bay Thursday

Counterfeiting paraphernalia found along with firearms, stolen property as police swept in Nov. 23

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

RCMP searching for missing Cowichan Bay boater, Daniel Borthwick

His Zodiac has been found but he has not, so far.

Most Read