Although school closures loom, talk must now focus on needs

Let’s Talk: Feb. 25, extra meeting, to prepare for the next community consultation meeting.

In the aftermath of the Feb. 6 school district meeting at Quamichan Middle School, when the axe fell on ten potential district schools, the community will have one more chance to voice its wishes on March 2 in the LCSS gym.

“Everything’s just happening so quickly,” BCTF local 66 president Chris Rolls said. “So on Feb. 25, we’re holding an extra meeting, “Let’s Talk” to prepare for the next community consultation meeting.”

Rolls is concerned that for the Mar. 2 meeting, everybody in the community is on the same page about what they want.

“I’ve talked to all three PACs to make sure that we’re headed in the same direction,” Rolls told the Gazette. “And that direction seems to be: we don’t like what the district is proposing, but we can’t fight the closures any more.”

With that in mind, Rolls wants to hold a meeting for everybody to come together and discuss what the community wants and needs for the Lake children in view of the pending changes.

Taking a realistic look at the situation, she says they are looking at two options in Lake Cowichan. The options are either a Kindergarten to Grade 3 or a Kindergarten to Grade 4 school at Palsson, and a middle school at LCSS that will include Grade 5s or else both 4s and 5s in addition to the Grade 6, 7 and 8s already housed there.

“So it comes down to we need to figure out what we need to make a 4-12 or a 5-12 school work,” she explained. “Essentially, the parents that I’ve talked to recognize that it’s not about fighting the closures, it’s about fighting for what they need.”

Rolls says she thinks preparing what they are going to tell the school district at that meeting is primordial for obtaining what they want, instead of using that time for such discussions at the March 2 meeting.

Not making cuts in teaching assistants because there are children with literacy issues here;  deciding that the school district is going to provide them with a proper playground for the children at the middle school; and obtaining the necessary textbooks are just some examples of ideas parents have come up with.

The meeting is slated for Feb. 25 at 6:30 in the Upper Centennial Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.