More consultation for Ladysmith and North Oyster parents

School trustees vote to extend consultation period for North Oyster Elementary and École Davis Road schools.

North Oyster Elementary School will stay open for 2013-14 and a decision about the future of École Davis Road has been delayed.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District trustees decided on a number of the proposed elements of the district’s 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan during public meeting June 26 in Nanaimo but also extended the consultation process on two proposals that have a big impact in this area.

At the meeting, trustees took a number of steps, including:

• Approved a bylaw to close South Wellington Elementary on June 30, 2013. The South Wellington school attendance area will be merged with Woodbank Primary and North Cedar Intermediate, with parent/student choice of Chase River Elementary.

• Approved a bylaw to close Cedar Community Secondary on June 30, 2014. The school attendance area will merge with John Barsby Community Secondary, with a parent/student choice of Ladysmith Secondary. Transportation will be provided to John Barsby Community Secondary as per the district’s transportation policy.

• For North Oyster Elementary, which was proposed for closure this year, the board passed a motion to extend the consultation period to Dec. 1, 2013, to allow time to consider alternatives, with a proposal to close the school on June 30, 2014.

• For École Davis Road Elementary, the board passed a motion to extend the consultation period to Dec. 1, 2013, to allow time to consider alternatives, with a proposal to close the school on June 30, 2014.

• Approved a motion to reconfigure Ladysmith Secondary School as a Grade 7-12 school in September 2014. Ladysmith Intermediate and École Davis Road Grade 7 students will relocate to LSS, and LSS will offer a Grade 7 and 8 French Immersion program.

• Approved a bylaw to close Woodbank Primary and North Cedar Intermediate in June 2015. The two schools will be consolidated into the renovated Cedar Secondary building in September 2015.

District staff will now prepare the final facilities plan for submission to the Ministry of Education, including the motions approved June 26, along with the proposals for years three to six in the plan.

Fiona Steeves, co-chair of the North Oyster Parent Advisory Council (PAC), says parents are excited that their school will stay open another year and that the consultation period has been extended for their community.

“I think it’s great; that’s what we were hoping for,” she said. “We didn’t feel 60 days was enough time to come up with the ideas we wanted to do. We’ve been saying all along that North Oyster is a good facility; it’s not one of the 50-year-old deteriorating buildings, and it should be used. Our numbers are low, so we need to figure out some programs to draw people back from our catchment and even from other catchments.”

Steeves says the community has come up with lots of ideas that could turn North Oyster into a magnet school that draws students in with its enhanced programming, such as an arts program or First Nations cultural enhancement, and all of these options take time to consider and get set up.

“We’re very excited about the future of North Oyster,” she said.

Jenny Van Horne, co-vice-chair of the EDR PAC, says at this point, parents have mixed feelings.

“The process was difficult for everybody to be going through,” she said. “We’re disappointed in the vote for Grade 7 students to go to the high school. We feel there’s a lot of information that backs up that this is not the best move, especially when the vulnerability is so high.”

Van Horne is hopeful that this extended consultation process will be a true consultation that includes all the stakeholders.

“I feel it’s a window of opportunity,” she said. “If it is a true consultation process with full disclosure from the school district as to what they truly need, it has the potential to be successful.”

Van Horne says the EDR PAC would like to be involved in determining what this consultation would look like.

She feels that whether the five months until Dec. 1 is enough time depends on what that process ends up being.

For more about all the decisions that were made at the June 26 school board meeting, visit the school district’s website.

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Most Read