Save Rutherford Elementary School

If you drive along Hammond Bay Road you will see small signs that say open and thriving. What is going on?  The closure of Rutherford Elementary School is pending but local parents are not going down without a fight.

The 60 day consultation with parents has come to an end as of November 15, 2015. Now the school district has come up with some recommendations on what to do.  Here is the list:

  • The Board approves the closure of Rutherford Elementary School within the next two years
  • The amalgamation of North Cedar Intermediate and Woodbank Primary into the Woodbank school site as of September 2016
  • The district works with the Ministry of Education in cost-sharing the construction of a new wing at Frank J. Ney Elementary
  • The Board approves, in principle, the shift in catchment for Rutherford students to Frank J. Ney, McGirr and Randerson Ridge upon closure of Rutherford
  • The Board refers the Rutherford Elementary property to the Asset Management program to remain until the Board consults on future use
  • The District Elementary Skills for Life program relocate to Georgia Avenue Community School for September 2016
  • The amalgamation of Learn@Home K-7 and Learn@Home 8-12 into the Mount Benson school site as of September 2016
  • The Board approves the closure of Woodlands Secondary for June 30, 2016 (with hockey, soccer and beach volleyball academies moving to NDSS); and
  • All construction information and data regarding district programs be shared with the NDSS Advisory Committee for future recommendation as it pertains to the development of the NDSS site.

The above items will be discussed at a Special Board Meeting on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 6 pm in the Shaw Auditorium at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Why is it when the City is planning extensive infilling of neighbourhoods and increased densification are they planning to close an elementary school on a main transportation route? Where is the urban planning?

Land sales are not the solution when trying to trim budgets.  SD68 has already closed nine schools. Since 2002 the BC government has closed 200 schools. Is this the way to prepare the next generation for a future filled with technology and advanced systems?

Rutherford Elementary School - via @OpenThriving
Save Rutherford Elementary School – photo @OpenThriving – What will happen to the community?

UPDATE ………………………………..

On Tuesday December 1, 2015 there was a meeting held and SD68 voted on the closure of Rutherford Elementary School. It was approved. The vote was 5 to 4.  Here are more highlights from the meeting:

  • The Board approved the closure of Woodlands Secondary on June 30, 2016. The hockey, soccer and beach volleyball academies will be moved to Nanaimo District Secondary. Cilaire Elementary will be a feeder school to Wellington Secondary. Forest Park and Brechin elementary schools will feed into NDSS.
  • The Board approved the closure of Rutherford Elementary on June 30, 2017 or later, subject to the completion of a new wing at Frank J. Ney Elementary. The Board will now seek to secure a project agreement from the Ministry of Education. In the event that capital funding is not approved for the new addition, or construction is delayed such that is not expected to be completed by September 2018, the closure of Rutherford will be revisited by the Board. The Rutherford StrongStart Program will relocate to Frank J. Ney.
  • The Board approved the reconfiguration of North Cedar Intermediate as a Kindergarten to Grade 7 school effective September 2016. Students from Woodbank Primary will attend the newly-configured school, Cedar Elementary, for September 2016. Woodbank Primary will close on June 30, 2016.
  • The Board approved the opening of the former Mount Benson Elementary School as the new Distributed Learning (Learn@Home) K-12 school, effective September 2016. Learn@Home K-7 will move from Departure Bay Elementary and Learn@Home 8-12 will move from Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS).
  • The Board directed staff to establish a visioning committee regarding programming at John Barsby Community Secondary School. The committee will be comprised of staff, John Barsby PAC, community members and a Board representative.
    The Board approved the relocation of the District Elementary Skills for Life program to Georgia Avenue Community School for September 2016. The Board also directed staff to establish a Consultative Committee for the District Elementary Skills for Life program. The committee will be comprised of staff, parent advocates at both Rutherford Elementary and Georgia Avenue Community School, along with respective principals and Board representatives.

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