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School board gets an earful from parents over Lake Country catchment boundry changes

Ecole KLO Middle School is over capacity because of surging demand for French Immersion.
January 22, 2015 - 7:32 PM

FRENCH IMMERSION EXPANSION INTO GLENROSA MIDDLE SCHOOL ALSO A CONCERN

KELOWNA - School board chair Moyra Baxter said an emotional meeting yesterday where a large contingent of anxious parents blasted the board over proposed catchment changes in Lake Country have revealed deep divisions in the community.

“There’s a real animosity between areas out there. It’s sad,” she said. “Emotions were running high. They weren’t happy with our lates suggestions.”

Baxter said the realignment is necessary as Davidson Rd. Elementary cannot accommodate any more students, while others in the area have empty classrooms.
“It’s bursting at the seams. Totally oversubscribed,” added Baxter.

The suggestion from staff that would see some students moved to Oyama and Peter Greer elementaries from Davidson Rd., was a solution that did not sit well with many parents. In the end, despite her opposition, Baxter said the committee agreed to send the staff recommendion to the public board meeting on Feb. 11.

Changing catchments in Lake Country “remains contentious” Baxter said, much more so than the reconfiguration of grades at Rutland Senior Secondary to include Grade 9 classes moved over from Rutland Middle and Springvalley Middle schools for the start of classes this September.

“Nobody asked anything about that,” Baxter said.

The introduction of French Immersion at Glenrosa Middle school in West Kelowna, a move designed to relieve congestion at Ecole KLO MIddle school in Kelowna, will take another step forward wtih a meeting Monday, Jan. 26 at George Pringle Senior Secondary.

Baxter said trustees have already heard plenty from parents, especially those who live near the bridge, work in Kelowna and don’t like the idea of back-tracking to Glenrosa, as well as others who don’t simply don’t want to uproot their kids now that they’re going to Ecole KLO.

“When we make a change, we usually grandfather these things in so I don’t see that as much of  an issue,” Baxter said. “We have to do something, as KLO just can’t accommodate any more students.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infotelnews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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