Almost 2,000 people have signed an online petition to keep D.W. Poppy Secondary from being transformed into a middle school.
The “Stop D.W. Poppy Middle School” petition on change.org was posted on Sept. 17 and had 1,960 signatures as of this week.
“School District 35 has shown they DO NOT care about our children,” reads the petition. “They are trying to force our community to ship our children further east to Aldergrove Secondary School, showing again, that the school district thinks of us as the black sheep of Langley.”
The district is currently holding consultations with parents in Aldergrove and Langley about the plan.
If implemented, it would see D.W. Poppy become a middle school for Grade 6 to 8, with older students heading to Aldergrove Community Secondary.
Concerns raised in the petition – and by parents at open houses already held – include the vast size of the catchment area. D.W. Poppy already has the largest catchment in Langley, stretching from the Fraser River to Zero Avenue, across much of the rural center and east of the Township.
“With working parents, gas prices, and bus schedules, this is not only going to cost families much more money, but more time, that we can not spare,” said the petition.
It suggests many parents in the western half of the catchment will choose to take their children to Brookswood, Langley Secondary, or other high schools instead.
Both Aldergrove Community Secondary and D.W. Poppy are currently operating well below their capacity.
A previous plan to create a middle school within D.W. Poppy was raised two years ago, but was scrapped early this year because the provincial Ministry of Education refused to provide the $4.5 million necessary for renovations for that project.