Grad vacation trip schemes frowned upon

The Central Okanagan School District is warning parents to be vigilant when it comes to graduation activities.

  • May. 13, 2011 1:00 p.m.

The Central Okanagan School District is warning parents to be vigilant when it comes to graduation activities.

At the regular school board meeting this week, superintendent Hugh Gloster said he has learned businesses are marketing graduation trips to Grade 12s that take the students out of the country to celebrate and are not necessarily well chaperoned.

“We are neither supporting nor are we condoning these activities,” said Gloster.

The district does not endorse the many bush parties which creep up around this time of year, nor does it support the annual grad kidnappings students engage in, he said, asking that parents pay close attention to who is involved in many of the events associated with grad.

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Students at KLO Middle School made a small step this week toward achieving their goal of setting up a wetland and outdoor classroom where the endangered turtles on their school property can live safely.

On Wednesday, the board of education agreed to the first steps in the process including allowing the City of Kelowna a right-of-way on the creek property.

It was noted a considerable amount of study needs to be done by the school district before the kids’ plans can move forward.

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The fee-for-service school bus system remains intact for next year, despite misgivings by at least one school trustee that the relatively new charges are counterproductive for the environment and families on a tight budget.

Moyra Baxter was the only trustee to vote against the fees, though Anna Hunt-Binkley explained part of her reason for voting to continue with the charge was because she had not heard from parents demanding otherwise.

“I’m totally opposed to us having to put in this transportation charge,” said Baxter. “I believe the traffic has increased since this went in.”

If the board were to opt out of the payment system, Hunt-Binkley pointed out, the funds would have to be cut from classroom resources as the province is no longer providing the money for school buses.

As it stands, it will cost a family $200 for one child to take the bus, $400 for two, $500 for three and $600 for four or more in the school year, at the early bird payment price.

Those who register for school later will not have the option of the early payment, which ends in June.

jsmith@kelownacapnews.com

Kelowna Capital News