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Letter from the Board of Education: School District 72 Facilities Review and Plan

November 18, 2015

​November 18, 2015

To School District 72 Parents/Guardians, Staff and Our Communities,

Re: School District 72 Facilities Review and Plan

No matter where a family lives, maintenance and repairs are always necessary. When the furnace goes or the roof springs a leak, as a homeowner you have to fix the problem for your family’s comfort and to maintain your investment. Now imagine multiplying that needed work many, many times over – that’s what faces Campbell River School District. Keeping schools and other district buildings safe, clean, and in good repair is important for students and everyone who works and visits there. In addition to this, a school district facilities plan is also a Ministry of Education capital plan requirement; no plan, no funding for capital projects.

Campbell River School District has conducted a facilities review with the aim of developing a new 10-year facilities plan. It has been 14 years since the last one, and since that time enrollment has decreased from 7,131 students to 5,298 students. While some schools were closed, the remaining schools accommodate fewer students, spreading maintenance and repair costs over buildings which in many cases, are not being efficiently used. In effect, resources that could be used to enhance student learning are being used to operate and maintain building capacity that is far in excess of our needs.  

The facilities review was an examination of all the properties owned by School District 72 and many other factors. What do enrollment forecasts show? Using Ministry of Education guidelines, what are area requirements for each school? How can the district resources and programs be distributed to best support student learning? The 2014-2018 Strategic Plan states all students should have a safe, caring, engaging learning environment that provides learning opportunities, in facilities that are enhanced for learning.

Where are we in the process? The first few steps have been completed: assessing facility conditions, forecasting student enrollment, analyzing current and future utilization capacity and utilization. Initial input from stakeholders has been incorporated, as well as information from reconfiguration and annual budget consultations. Issues and opportunities have been identified. Options have been created and are currently being explored.

The Board of Education tasked senior management with developing a draft facilities plan. This plan was presented to the Board at our November 17 public board meeting. The plan is also being shared with the public through the school district website (www.sd72.bc.ca) and feedback and comments for the Board’s consideration in advance of any decided course of action can be sent to facilities.plan@sd72.bc.ca.

We understand that schools are important parts of our neighbourhoods and that people feel strongly about them. We also fully appreciate that any decisions we make will have an impact on some school communities. As elected representatives, we take the responsibility entrusted in us to make thoughtful, informed decisions that equally considers all students very seriously.

There are several factors that will be foremost in the Board's considerations. These include more effective allocation of district support services; reliable technology at point of instruction; more flexible learning environments to enable personalized learning initiatives; and increased educational services and closer co-ordination with community services in areas with vulnerable students and families.

The priority of the Board of Education is to now give thoughtful deliberation and consideration to the many factors and determine the final school district facilities plan that will guide our district’s development in the best possible way for the years to come. 

Again, should you have feedback or comments that you would also like the Board to consider, please send them no later than November 30 by email to facilities.plan@sd72.bc.ca or by mail to the School District 72 Board of Education, c/o the Secretary-Treasurer’s office, 425 Pinecrest Road, Campbell River BC, V9W 3P2.

Sincerely,

Susan Wilson, ChairSchool
On behalf of the School District 72 Board of Education