Community has more time

Parents and stakeholders in North Oyster and Ladysmith have more time to come up with solutions for their schools.

Parents in North Oyster and Ladysmith have bought themselves some time after the school board voted Wednesday, June 26 to extend the consultation process to consider alternatives to proposed school closures.

It’s great news for these school communities, and hopefully that’s enough time for trustees to really listen to and work with community members to address their needs and issues.

North Oyster Elementary School had been proposed for closure this year, but the school board has extended the consultation period to Dec. 1 to allow time to consider alternatives, with a proposal to close the school June 30, 2014. The board also voted to extend the consultation process for École Davis Road (EDR). The school is still proposed to close June 30, 2014.

The district’s proposed plan had originally recommended reconfiguring Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS) into a Grade 6-12 school, and trustees voted last week to make it a Grade 7-12 school in September 2014. Ladysmith Intermediate and EDR Grade 7 students will relocate to LSS, and the secondary school will offer a Grade 7 and 8 French immersion program.

Community is a word we think of a lot here in Ladysmith, and it’s in community that we will find the solutions. It will require parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, business owners and interested community members sharing their ideas and working together to find ways to support our students and our schools in the face of enrolment and funding challenges.

—Lindsay Chung