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Board still deliberating on school boundaries



Dec. 31 deadline for submissions

More than 50 families have already responded to the Howe Sound School Board’s call for input on the boundary for the new Spring Creek School.

But, said board secretary treasurer Nancy Edwards, it won’t be clear until the responses are analyzed in January what parents prefer.

"We’ve had some form letter petition replies, some forms from the school, and a couple of lengthy letters," said Edwards.

"As a result of these responses we may well look at some other options."

The board will most likely decide at their Feb. 13, 2002 meeting what the boundary will be.

Responses to the boundary options can be sent to the board as late as the end of the first week of January.

At the Myrtle Philip Parent Advisory Council Meeting Tuesday night Chairwoman Kris Shoup and other members stressed again that it would be up to the board to make the final decision.

It’s likely, said Shoup, that few people will be happy with whatever option is chosen.

The criteria for selecting the boundary option are:

• The capacity of the school and the current and future enrolment must be in balance;

• Bussing of children will be minimized where possible;

• Main highway arteries shall form the boundaries wherever possible;

• Francophone students will attend where space exists;

• Children should be able to walk or ride the bus to school rather than be driven to help reduce environmental impacts;

• Cross boundary attendance should be minimized to ensure the viability of both schools.

Meanwhile the Labour Relations Board ruled Wednesday that teachers can withdraw all extracurricular activities as part of their escalating labour dispute.

"We have hesitated to do it up to now because we have tried very hard to prevent impacting students and we believe (cutting) extracurricular activities does have a harsh cost to students," said Marjorie Reimer, president of the Howe Sound Teachers’ Association.

"We feel it is inevitable. Certainly if we can continue to withdraw things like extracurricular activities and prevent schools from being actually shut down in a full scale strike then that is what we will try to do.

"We are on strike but we are trying not to interfere with educational opportunities with students."

Howe Sound teachers have also launched a sticker campaign to raise their profile in the community.

"What we are hoping to do in the Sea to Sky Corridor is to highlight the important job that teachers play as far as our economies of our three small towns," said Reimer.

Teachers are placing small stickers on cheques and other payment slips.

Principals and vice-principals have joined teachers in demanding a significant pay hike.

The B.C. Principals and Vice-Principals Association says the salaries of many members no longer reflect their qualification or responsibilities – in some cases they receive lower salaries than the teachers they supervise.

The association is calling on the province to pay for salary increases.

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