Tuesday August 30, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 4 pm]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
With just months left to go in his time as Premier of British Columbia, Premier John Horgan made his way over to the Tri-Cities area on the Lower Mainland to be part of announcing funding for a new school in SD43 (Coquitlam)
The SD43 Coquitlam school district will get $135 million to develop 1,000 spaces for Grades 6 to 12 on Burke Mountain.
Fast-growing K-12 school districts:
Horgan mentioned that some school districts are growing rapidly in BC, including the Tri-Cities, Surrey and Langford/Sooke in his own riding here on Vancouver Island. Those districts deal with different or additional sorts of challenges around facility expansion and student population growth.
The growth is driven by families seeking housing in these urban and semi-urban neighbourhoods.
“There are different plans and strategies for different parts of the province,” the premier said. Of note, in his own riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca there is a below-average provincial rate of graduates who go on to post-secondary; as a result a collaborative university campus with Royal Roads University in the lead (but involving the SD62 school district) was announced earlier this month.
Minister of Education and Child Care, Jennifer Whiteside, reiterated the government’s tally of expenditure in “new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and land purchases” as presently standing at $2.8 billion. She says there is more to come.
The new school(s) in Coquitlam — starting as a shared middle and high school, then shifting down the road to building a second school for the middle school students (Grades 6 to 8) — will include many of the same features as we’ve seen in new schools in SD62 here on the west shore, such as shared neighbourhood learning spaces, attention to reducing carbon emissions, gender neutral washrooms and elevators to assist with accessibility.
SD62 is opening a new elementary school next week in the Westhills area of Langford, called Pixsisen Elementary. In November — right next door to Pixsisen — SD62 will open their new Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School.
Back to school inflation supports:
Yesterday Minister Whiteside announced a $60 million Student and Family Affordability Fund for Fall 2022 to support school district programs that provide additional assistance to families (e.g. meal programs, field trip costs, back to school supplies). She said there would be more to come.
Today Horgan said Minister of Finance Selina Robinson would be announcing more inflation-related supports for British Columbians. Robinson is making that announcement today.
School trustee elections:
The next four-year election cycle for school board trustees kicks in with the October 15, 2022 election for all 60 school districts across BC.
Back to school: Health & Education ministries promoting vaccination (August 27, 2022) | Opinion-Editorial about vaccination by Dr Bonnie Henry (August 27, 2022)
Mary P Brooke is running for SD62 school trustee (August 24, 2022)
Delay in opening new SD62 middle school in Sept 2022 (August 10, 2022)
Post-secondary education expanding for students on the Westshore (August 3, 2022)
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR, has been reporting on SD62 news at the board and committee level since 2014.
Mary P Brooke is running for SD62 School Trustee in the October 15, 2022 election.
Ms Brooke has steered a series of publications about the west shore since 2008: MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, West Shore Voice News 2014-2020, and now Island Social Trends since mid-2020.
Mary is the proud mother of four now-adult children who attended schools in SD61, SD62 and SD72 over the years.
See the Island Social Trends SD62 News Archive for articles going back several years.