Thursday August 13, 2020 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke, editor | West Shore Voice News:
In the west shore area of south Vancouver Island, Sooke School District 62 (SD62) delivers public education to families in Langford, Colwood, Sooke and surrounding areas (with a student population of over 11,000) — parents have been vocal about their concerns.
These areas are growing rapidly as families choose the west shore for the housing that is relatively affordable compared to other parts of the Greater Victoria area.
Redistribution of SD62 portable classrooms for Fall 2020:
Plans for portables have not changed in SD62 (according to SD62 administration this week), even though the ‘additional space’ made possible with portables actually seems helpful during a pandemic.
No new portables are being added, but several are being redistributed, including 10 that were previously in use at Royal Bay Secondary in Colwood (where the completion of construction of 600 new seats will happen for September).
Capital planning for new schools and the use of portables in the meantime is being guided by information from municipalities on housing growth. SD62 is presently following a framework of student growth over the next eight years (based on 2018-2028 projections) which shows 3.8% more students in Langford, 3.6% more students in Colwood and Metchosin, and 0.9% more students in the Sooke area.
31 portables in place for September 2020:
The current distribution of portable classrooms in SD62 was in place pre-COVID, as the school district continues to see an increasing student population due to rapid increases in housing and new families coming to the area.
The distribution plan for portable classroom units for September 2020 is presently as follows:
- Royal Bay Secondary (school in Colwood was new for September 2015, expanded for September 2020). The 10 portables that were in place during expansion-construction are being relocated to other schools in the district for September 2020.
- Wishart Elementary (Colwood) – getting two more (for total of five on site), using up one of the two fields / school population over 400 in 2020-2021.
- David Cameron Elementary (Colwood) – getting one more portable for a total of three for 2020-2021.
- Ruth King Elementary (central Langford) – two portables are being added this summer for a total of two on site for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Spencer Middle School (central Langford) – two portables being added this summer for a total of 10 portables on site for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Belmont Secondary School (in the Westhills area of Langford) – one more portable, for a total of four for 2020-2021.
- Sooke Elementary (on Highway 14/Sooke Road in town proper) – one more portable being added this summer for a total of three on site, in addition to one existing modular building on site for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Ecole Poirier Elementary (in suburban Sooke, right next door to Journey Middle School) – No portables being added this summer. The school will open with one existing portable and two modular buildings for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Millstream Elementary (in Langford) is receiving one additional portable this summer, opening in September 2020 with a total of four portables.
===== About the writer:
West Shore Voice News editor Mary Brooke has been reporting on education news (and SD62 in depth) since 2014. She is the mother of four children who went through the SD61 and SD62 school systems.
BC Ministry of Education – serving 553,000 public school students, 81,000 independent school students, and (pre-COVID) over 2,200 home-schooled children enrolled each school year.
Comments from SD62 parents on concerns about 2020 return to school (West Shore Voice News, August 6, 2020)
Online petition about BC Return to School (article and link to petition, August 9, 2020) | The petition wrapped up with 35,000 signatures on August 12, and was presented in the BC Legislature on that date.