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New teachers means space once again an issue for Kamloops schools

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March 07, 2017 - 7:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - With new teachers coming to Kamloops next year the district now must figure out where to put them.

The new teachers are good news, says the Kamloops school district superintendent, but that will exasperate a lack of space in the city’s schools. Supt. Alison Sidow says portables and any unused rooms big enough for a class, like multipurpose rooms, will be pushed into use for class space once new teachers arrive in Kamloops in September.

“It will cause a strain on the capital dollars we have,” she says.

The Ministry of Education has promised to fund districts to cover costs associated with a large influx of new teachers expected next year as part of the B.C. government attempts to comply with a Supreme Court ruling on class sizes. As negotiations between the province and the teachers' union continue, the district is now looking at where to fit them in. Some Kamloops schools are at or near capacity more money is needed for physical space for classrooms.

“The areas we’re most concerned with are the areas in the southwest sector of Kamloops,” Sidow says.

That includes the Sahali and Aberdeen neighbourhoods. Juniper Ridge elementary, Westmount elementary, Valleyview secondary and South Kamloops secondary schools could also get portable classrooms.

District administration isn’t sure how many new teachers are arriving; that’ll depend on the ministry. A plan has been developed to deal with facility resources, but is waiting for the ministry to announce the district’s grant on March 15.

The school board is still lobbying the government for new funding for capital projects as well, Sidow says, as schools like South Kamloops Secondary require replacement, but Sidow isn’t holding her breath for the province to send money for new schools.

“Our belief is they’re funding growth over new facilities,” she says.


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