Parents speak out against Lake Country school plan

School district officials may be getting the message sent to them by Lake Country parents.

School district officials may be getting the message sent to them by Lake Country parents.

Upwards of 200 people Thursday attended a consultation meeting on the Central Okanagan School District’s long-term facility plan.

The plan calls for all Grade 7 students moving to George Elliot Secondary School, but there are now suggestions that other options will be considered.

“We’ve been trying to get the parents’ voice heard and they are hearing our voice,” said Ryan Murdain, spokesperson for Lake Country’s parents advisory councils.

The school district has stated Grade 7 students must go to GESS to address overcrowding at the elementary level in September 2013.

However, officials stated Thursday that Grade 7 students may be able to remain in their schools or bus routes and catchment areas may change to minimize overcrowding.

“Our next step is to make a presentation to the board in November,” said Patty Wellborn, Oyama Traditional School PAC chairperson.

A primary concern for parents has been Grade 7 students being around senior grades at GESS.

“We still feel the school does not have a solid plan on how to deal with them and how day-to-day lessons or movement of students would work,” she said.

The school district’s ultimate goal is constructing a middle school but that may not occur until 2017.

And that means the PACs are unwilling to consider any option other than their children remaining in their elementary schools or portables being added to Davidson Road Elementary.

“We will hold out until we get a middle school,” said Murdain.

District officials say there was mixed reaction about the facility plan.

“Some parents are in favour of it and some are concerned about the interim plan,” said trustee Deb Butler of moving Grade 7 students to GESS.

Administration will present all of the input to the board Nov. 20 and Butler hasn’t decided which option she favours.

“I’m really interested in the feedback from parents.  I’d like to  hear from the majority of them,” she said.