Parents against grade reconfiguration bring protest to school board meeting

Group wants to keep K-7 elementary schools, says timeline is too tight

Parents against removing Grades 6 and 7 from rural Abbotsford elementary schools demonstrated at the district school board meeting on Tuesday.

Over 30 parents and their supporters, who oppose reconfiguring Abbotsford’s rural schools, brought their frustrations to a school board meeting Tuesday evening.

They oppose a plan to rearrange grades so Kindergarten-to-Grade 7 schools become K to 5, with students starting middle school in Grade 6. The rearrangement was proposed to respond to shifting populations at rural schools, and the board plans to decide this spring whether to make the changes for the fall of 2016.

They wielded “Save our K-7 Schools” signs made by Jared White, father of two kids at Upper Sumas Elementary. They want to keep K-7 schools as an option everywhere in the district because, they argue, some kids just aren’t ready to leave elementary school at Grade 6.

The demonstration was organized in the “Save our K-7 Schools” Facebook group, which has 326 members at press time.

The change, which would take effect next year, would impact Aberdeen, Bradner, Mt. Lehman and Ross elementaries in the city’s west, and Barrowtown and Upper Sumas elementaries in the east. The district also proposed changing catchment areas so Barrowtown and Upper Sumas students would attend Abbotsford middle and senior.

White says if the change goes through, he and other parents might want to switch their children to one of the board’s public magnet programs, or to a private school but applications for popular schools fill up fast.

“Parents have to start registering their children in January if they want to get into a choice school,” he said. “How can we do that if you won’t tell us if the grade [reconfiguration] is going through until February?”

Dave Stephen, the spokesperson for the Abbotsford School District, gave a statement saying “we feel the timeline provided for the consultation and decision on the proposed reconfiguration is appropriate.”

At the meeting, White and others asked questions to the board about the reconfiguration timeline but they weren’t happy about the answers they got.

“We’re hoping they leave the choice here with us,” said Tara MacDonnel, who has three kids at Mount Lehman.

Consultations about the change will take place in January, and the board will make its final decision on the matter on Feb. 26.

Just Posted

Giddy Up – annual Mustang car show comes to Langley

The Mustang has been on the market for 55 years, and owners gather to celebrate the iconic Ford.

Shamrocks headed to finals in Minto Cup at LEC

The lacrosse championships are down to two teams

Rams trounce Valley Huskers for third straight win

The Langley Rams are 3-0 this season so far

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

IHIT confirms male arrested in connection with Paul Prestbakmo’s death no longer in custody

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Most Read