In a special open meeting Tuesday evening school trustees voted to carry on with their proposal to reconfigure Wildwood elementary school, but not to reconfigure Lac La Hache elementary as proposed earlier.
Trustees voted four-to-one to reconfigure Wildwood elementary into a kindergarten to Grade 3 primary school effective in September. Students in grades 4-7 will be in the catchment area for Cataline elementary.
Trustee Will Van Osch voted against the proposal while trustees Richard Elliott, Bruce Mack, Pete Penner, and chair Wayne Rodier voted for the change. Trustees Heather Mackenzie and Patricia Baker were absent. In another split vote the trustees voted against a motion to reconfigure Lac la Hache elementary into a kindergarten to Grade 3 primary school, and send students in grades 4 to 7 to 108 Mile elementary. Lac La Hache elementary will continue to be a kindergarten to Grade 7 school. Chair Wayne Rodier and trustee Richard Elliott were the only trustees to support changing the Lac la Hache school configuration. Trustees Pete Penner, Will Van Osch and Bruce Mack voted against reconfiguring Lac la Hache school.
Trustees Patricia Baker and Heather Mackenzie were absent. Van Osch, who voted against both proposals, cited concerns about the effect of the proposed changes on the rural funding grants, parents not wanting to separate their elementary school- age children, and concern that, given school of choice options, parents won’t send their children to the school in their designated catchment area.
The primary reasons for proposing reconfiguration was to save money in the face of very low enrolment at both schools, while still keeping the schools open and the youngest children close to home, rather than riding a bus to school.
The trustees also directed staff to proceed with preparations for staffing adjustments for the 2011-2012 school year since the budget won’t be adopted until the end of May.