Central Okanagan school board chair Moyra Baxter and school district administrator/CEO Kevin Kaardal. Photo: Capital News files

Central Okanagan school board chair Moyra Baxter and school district administrator/CEO Kevin Kaardal. Photo: Capital News files

Letter: Grade reconfiguration a short-sighted decision

West Kelowna letter-writer says all Central Okanagan parents deserve better

To the editor:

The Board of Trustees for School District 23 recently approved reconfiguration of West Kelowna schools effective Sept. 2018, moving Grade 6 to middle school and Grade 9 to high school for Constable Neil Bruce. Because Mount Boucherie Secondary School is already over-capacity, Grade 9 students at Glenrosa Middle School will remain there indefinitely.

This action was taken with less than 30 days notice and with no consultation or discussion with the community. Both the board chair and the superintendent publicly acknowledged that they have not been transparent in this process. Don’t our children deserve a well-planned and effective transition?

But my primary concern is for MBSS. This school has a capacity of 1,325 students. The district’s projections show enrollment this September will be 1,593 students (268 over). By September 2022, just four years later, that number is 1,812 (487 over).

The district says this would be handled by adding portables and that there is space for 17 of them at MBSS. But their projections show they will reach the maximum of 17 portables in four to five years and enrollment continues to grow after that.

The board has put us on the course for a huge problem at MBSS while leaving no options to deal with continued growth.

There simply isn’t another high school in the West Kelowna to which the students can be redirected. If capacity issues are left at the lower levels, there are nine elementary schools and two middle schools that can share the burden and provide the flexibility needed to deal with this.

The board of trustees has made a short-sighted decision based on incomplete and/or incorrect information provided by the District. Families of West Kelowna, and all of School District 23 deserve better.

Matt Whitt, West Kelowna

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