Parents who had concerns about proposed changes to Kimberley school configurations can rest a little easier as the School District 6 Board has decided to back off on any changes for the 2017/2018 school year.
Earlier this fall, the Board announced that they were seeking input on a plan to change the configuration in Kimberley’s elementary schools. They would all — Lindsay Park, Marysville and McKim — become Grade K to 7 schools. The changes were to take place next year after the Board heard input from parents.
At a public meeting in October, a number of Kimberley parents voiced objections to the plan and one of them, Krista Moody, began a petition asking the Board to consider other options.
Last week, SD6 Superintendent Paul Carriere said the Board had decided to wait and consider more information.
“The Board made decisions at their regular meeting to gather more information and slow the process down,” Carriere said. “There are always options to consider, and Trustees want to ensure they make the best decisions possible for the whole district in the area of facility use.”
Moody said she is pleased to see the process slowed down as she had a lot of questions she really didn’t feel were answered at the public meeting in Kimberley.
“I’d like to think the petition had some part in this decision,” she said. “I think there was a lot of pressure.”
Moody says she had some misgivings about the reconfiguration plan after the meeting because she didn’t hear any real justification for it.
“The Ministry of Education ordered school districts to come up with facility plans and SD6 hired a consultant who came up with a big plan. But at the meeting, we asked what about enforced catchment (meaning you attend the school in your neighbourhood) would that help? And a lot of the trustees said yes.”
She says most parents she has talked to would prefer to keep McKim a middle school. It is more set up for older students and has more facilities than the other two elementary schools.
“We asked questions like what happens to the band program, the French program, sports programs? We expected answers but there were few details. There were just too many unanswered questions.”
Moody says she will now wait and see what the Board comes up with.
“Hopefully something totally new will come up that won’t be so concerning.”