Parents and students mark the end of Kwaleen Traditional Elementary school

Kwaleen Traditional Elementary School wrapped up its 2013 school year and the end of an era with a final traditional evening.

Kwaleen Traditional Elementary School wrapped up its 2013 school year and the end of an era  with a final student versus parents soccer game and barbecue.

Parent Audrey Waterhouse says all current and past alumni of Kwaleen Traditional School were invited to attend the event held at the school on Monday, June 17.

“It was a bittersweet night looking at all the old pictures and reminiscing with all of the people who turned out for this event even on the short notice,” Waterhouse said in her e-mail, sent along with pictures from the event.

“Here are some pictures to commemorate the great event that has been part of Kwaleen for many years.”

Once again, Waterhouse says the Royal Purple women were a huge part of this event by serving hamburgers to all the hungry parents and children while the soccer games continued from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. between the little bursts of rain that fell.

“We had cake cutting with all the children and now adults of previous Kwaleen students at 6 p.m.,” Waterhouse said. “We even had a graduate Jackie Laflamme from 1976 show up near the end of the night to relive the past glory days of Kwaleen.”

Waterhouse said the one statement echoing from everyone’s lips was the question to those (trustees) who decided to close their school. “What were they thinking?”

Kwaleen opened in 1966 and is closing for good as a public elementary school on Friday. Students are actually finished classes today but teachers stay on for an administrative day on Friday.

“It will really set in tomorrow, I think, when we say goodbye to Kwaleen permanently,”  PAC president Katie Dyck said Wednesday. “I personally am expecting a lot of tears, and I’m sure I will shed some of them. I think most people are feeling upset because Kwaleen is such a great school, and it has a proven track record of academic excellence.”

Glendale Elementary School will follow suit in closing for good at the end of July, although French immersion students at that school also finish their year today.

Glendale and Kwaleen join the long list of schools that are closing in the district as cost saving measures to meet enrolment requirements and budget constraints imposed by Victoria.

Except for school of choice applications, the student populations of Kwaleen and Glendale elementary schools will move to other designated elementary schools.

Kwaleen students move to Chilcotin Road elementary in September. Glendale French students move to Nesika, and the year-round English program now at Glendale moves to Cataline elementary.

To accommodate the school closures, Grade 7s are being moved out of the elementary schools and into a new consolidated secondary school on two campuses (former Columneetza and Williams Lake secondary schools).

Kwaleen and Glendale join a long list of school properties the school board is looking to unload.

The school board recently issued notice that it is seeking expressions of interest for the purchase or long term lease of various school properties.

The expressions of interest for the north end of the district are being accepted today, Thursday, June 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the board office in Williams Lake.

In addition to Glendale and Kwaleen, properties up for sale or lease in the north end include the former Poplar Glade Elementary School site on 11th Avenue that burned down a few years ago; McLeese Lake School; Likely teacher-age; Glencoe (on the old Soda Creek Road); Anahim Lake (old school site) and the Poplar Grove site at Redstone.

In the south end of the district schools on the sale or lease list include 100 Mile Junior Secondary School (A); 100 Mile Jr. Secondary (B) addition; Buffalo Creek School; Deka Lake teacher-age; Sharpe Lake site; and Buffalo Creek School.


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