Parkview Elementary School

Parkview Elementary School

Changes on hold for Sicamous schools

The structure of schools in Sicamous will remain the same for the upcoming year, but changes are coming.

The structure of schools in Sicamous will remain the same for the upcoming year, but changes are coming.

Sicamous had been the subject of discussion as part of the school district’s long-term facilities plan with a recommendation to convert Parkview Elementary to a K-5 school and move the Grade 6 and 7 students into a “middle school within a school” at Eagle River Secondary.

The two schools in Sicamous are well below the student capacity; in fact, according to a facilities plan study, all the students in Sicamous could be accommodated within one school building. This led to the recommendation that Sicamous schools be reconfigured to a K-12 structure for the 2016/2017 school year.

In discussions with parents and the community, there was near-universal dislike for the interim proposal of moving the Grade 6 and 7 students to Eagle River for the upcoming school year. Instead, the community was more amenable to the idea of moving straight to a K-12 school, once a proper review and plan could be put in place.

Trustees agreed and voted to commence public consolation and an analysis of the facilities, staffing and programs for one K-12 school by February 2016.

“We know things cannot stay as they are. There is optimism that Sicamous can do anything, just give us some time,” said Sicamous/Malakwa Trustee Barry Chafe.

Trustee Chris Coers noted the timeline to move students into Eagle River Secondary was too tight.

“It was obvious at the meeting that the staff and people of Sicamous want to keep their kids there and they are willing to be innovative. I agree that they can likely make anything happen… but we need the entire school year to figure that out.”

Coers noted Sicamous parents should be prepared to see sections of both Parkview and Eagle River Secondary closed off as part of a cost-saving initiative.

The facilities plan suggests students would most likely be moved to Eagle River Secondary, rather than Parkview Elementary, as the space was better suited to meet the needs of students of the varied age groups. Renovations would likely still be needed.