Student Jack MacInnis addresses the school board.

Student Jack MacInnis addresses the school board.

School balanced calendar program axed

School District 27 trustees have cancelled the balanced calendar program at Cataline Elementary School.

School District 27 trustees have cancelled the balanced calendar program at Cataline Elementary School.

Cancelling the program is expected to save $173,000 of the $1.6 million deficit the district is facing to balance its 2014/15 operating budget.

The savings will be derived from a reduction in utility costs, staffing (administrative, teaching, custodial) and busing costs according to a report from Secretary Treasurer Kevin Futcher.

Trustees voted to cancel the program Tuesday evening during their regular board meeting over pleas from a small group of parents and students in the audience to keep the program.

Student Jack MacInnis explained to the board how much he liked the program.

Parent Tara Sharp talked about the benefits of the balanced calendar program and smaller schools, adding that some parents were considering moving their children to private schools or home schooling them if the program was cancelled.

She said the students were already traumatized by the closing of their school last year and having the school’s student body split off to two different schools, and it would be unfair to make them go through another change.

After Glendale Elementary School was closed last June, the French Immersion program at the school was moved to Nesika elementary and the Balanced Calendar program was moved to Cataline elementary in September.

Sharp also questioned why some schools such as Wildwood elementary with low enrolments were being kept open at the expense of the balanced calendar program.

Superintendent Mark Thiessen explained that the district receives additional grants from the Ministry of Education to keep rural schools open.

The trustees discussed the pros and cons of the decision to cancel the balanced calendar program at length and took turns explaining and apologizing for having to make the decision to cut the program.

In addition to having to find measures to balance the district’s budget, they noted enrolment in the balanced calendar program had dropped.

There were 52 students in the balanced calendar program at Glendale but when it  was moved to Cataline last fall enrolment dropped to 28 students.

As Chair Tanya Guenther started to explain the situation, one parent in the audience shouted that the district had done nothing to promote the balanced calendar program.

In cancelling the program the trustees also agreed to send copies of the district’s school of choice policy to each of the families affected by the change.

Assistant Superintendent Harj Manhas said he had personally contacted each of the families in the program to explain the situation and ask where they would like their students placed next year.

Thiessen said he hoped that most parents of children in the balanced calendar program would choose to keep their children together at Cataline with their friends.

In a separate presentation the secretary treasurer outlined other areas where the district is working to balance its 2014/15 operating budget.


Just Posted

Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort on Puntzi Lake has been purchased by Tsideldel First Nation. (Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort photo)
Tsideldel First Nation buys Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort at Puntzi Lake

“It’s a good opportunity for the band, our children and our future,” said Chief Otis Guichon

Demolition work is underway at the corner of Oliver Street and Mackenzie Avenue. (Angie Mindus photo)
Demolition work begins on Ming’s Restaurant building in Williams Lake

The historic building suffered extensive water damage during a large fire downtown in 2019

Williams Lake courthouse. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Preliminary inquiry gets underway May 17 into 2018 murder north of Williams Lake

Wyatt Lee Boffa, Daine Victor Stump are charged with first degree murder

Talia McKay of Williams Lake is a burn survivor who remains grateful for the support she received from the Burn Fund (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
’You have to allow yourself the grace to heal’: B.C. burn survivor reflects on her recovery

Learning how to stand straight and walk again was a feat said Williams Lake resident Talia McKay

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
‘Obviously, he’s a fighter’: Golden eagle, recovered from poisoning, back in Kootenay wild

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A fledgling white raven was spotted near the end of Winchester Road in Coombs. (Mike Yip photo)
Legend continues as iconic white raven spotted once again on Vancouver Island

Sightings rare everywhere in world except for central Vancouver Island location

Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops, B.C., on May 17, 2020. (CF Snowbirds)
Snowbirds to honour Capt. Casey, who died in B.C. crash, in 2021 tour

Tour will kick off in Ontario in June before heading west

A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 is bundled up for the cold weather as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snow possible in mountain passes as cold front hits southern B.C.

Much of B.C.’s southern interior will see temperatures plunge from highs of 30 C reached over the weekend

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)

Most Read