Lake Cowichan School numbers growing

Lake Cowichan School is not only growing but “bursting at the seams” according to

Lake Cowichan School is not only growing but “bursting at the seams” according to a recent announcement on the school’s official Facebook page.

This fall the school, which has students from Grade 4 to 12, discovered an increase in its elementary-level enrolments. While they have not yet breached their maximum numbers, those classes are full, prompting some reconfigurations in the upper-level grades.

“I didn’t want to have to say to someone who moves in, ‘Hey, I’m sorry, we’re full.’ And I didn’t want people having to drive anywhere or leave the community. That’s not something I want,” said principal Jaime Doyle. “In order to do that we have the ability because we are four to 12, we have the ability to ‘cascade up’ and create some more split classes at the middle school level.”

Consequently, the school is making a split Grade 7/8 class and a split Grade 8/9 class. These levels were chosen because Grade 8 classes are also full while Grade 9 is the school’s smallest class.

“So we’re going to make one cohort of Grade 8/9 and that will take the pressure off Grade 8, so that our Grade 8 won’t be chock-a-block full,” said Doyle.

He said the decision was reached after much consultation with staff and senior administration. Doyle emphasized staff’s desire to keep classes from reaching the point where they are “maxed out,” which would compel new arrivals to the community to look elsewhere for schooling.

“We as a staff firmly believe in the ‘keep our kids at the Lake’ philosophy,” Doyle said in his public announcement.

Doyle acknowledged that changes such as these can be disruptive but noted that all schools with growing populations go through similar situations during the first weeks of class.

“I think it’s been a while since Lake Cowichan has seen this kind of growth in terms of the school population, so I think a lot of the teachers recognize that this is something that every school almost now in Duncan is going through and we happen to be going through it now,” he said.

“A lot of young families are moving into the area which is incredibly positive for the community and school.”

Doyle wrapped up his announcement by stating staff will also do their very best to ensure changes to classes go as smoothly as possible, taking into account each child’s educational needs.

“We ask for your patience as we do our best to sort things out,” he said.

Paula MacGregor, chairwoman of the LCS parents advisory committee, told the Gazette via email that because the PAC has not yet had its monthly meeting, she cannot say whether or not the committee supports these changes, however, she has not received any complaints from parents.

MacGregor recalled a situation several years ago in which a new family to Lake Cowichan was turned away from both schools due to class sizes. Their children had to attend school in Duncan.

She said she was pleased to know the school is taking steps to reconfigure its classes to prevent this from happening again.

“I am happy that our community is growing and thankful that our teachers are adapting and working around this catch-22 for the benefit of all involved,” she said.

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson column: Got it, got it, need it, got it…

Duncan youth seeking hockey card trading partners

T.W. Paterson column: Finding B.C.’s most beautiful park was easier than protecting it

Over the years I’ve seen acts of destruction that required hard effort, sometimes even ingenuity.

Cannabis shops still in limbo in Cowichan Valley

Future uncertain as marijuana becomes legal

DCS Chargers play to sixth at B.C. Christian soccer tourney

Coaches proud of team’s performance in Langley

Lorraine Nygaard, Louise Rose, and combo to shine at Crofton this Sunday

Jazz: smooth and soulful, is on the menu at Osborne Bay Pub

Coming up in Cowichan: Pair of Mill Bay Marine Rescue Society fundraisers

Fall Fishing Derby will benefit Mill Bay Marine Search and Rescue Mill… Continue reading

Cowichan Coffee Time

Chain of Love and Lake to Lake Walk

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read