Tag Archives: Cedar

Frustration Grows re closure of Cedar Secondary School

Nanaimo Ladysmith School Board SD68 meets today, January 8, 2013 at 6pm in their offices to decide if they’re going to force Cedar residents to send their children to John Barsby Secondary School, or listen and provide busing to Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS) from Cedar, where the majority of parents want to send their children.  This all began when plans were made to close Cedar Secondary School; just built ten years ago.

The following is a press release from Save Cedar Schools Coalition:

Is this getting old yet folks? Save Cedar Schools is once again outraged by the latest district report outlining the cost to bus Cedar high school students out of their own community. “This report is another in a long line of examples of how our district staff will manipulate numbers in order to try to force this plan to work,” said Steve Rae of the Save Cedar Schools Coalition. The district staff report is troubling for many reasons, but three stand out as the most important to highlight.

1. The current busing costs outlined in the “Report on Busing to John Barsby and Ladysmith Secondary” are highly misleading. The report states that to bus students to Barsby only, will cost $455,878 (purchase of 2 buses plus an annual cost of $175,878) but to bus students to LSS and Barsby will cost $868,680 (purchase cost of 4 buses plus an annual cost of $308,680). What is missing in these calculations is that the cost of $455,878 is only for the Cedar students who chose John Barsby Secondary School as their school of “choice.”

 “When the trustees voted to close Cedar Community Secondary School they ensured that every single high school aged child in Cedar is no longer within walking distance of a high school and therefore must now be bused to school no matter what”.

The bottom line is that if every student chose Barsby, as the district wanted, it would cost $728,680 (purchase of 3 buses plus an annual operating cost of $308,680) to bus students to John Barsby. Steve Rae stated, “The district report stating a difference of $412,802 to run buses to both LSS and Barsby is highly misleading and does not account for the actual number of students that now MUST ALL be bused out of their own community to attend high school. We expect that the Trustees, our elected representatives can see through this intentional manipulation of the numbers and do the right thing when reviewing this report”.

2. Families in Cedar came out loud and clear during the consultation process and said we want our own community school to stay open but if you must close it, we want LSS to be our catchment school. Rae states, “Despite every effort by the district to coerce Cedar families to Barsby, over half chose LSS. The trustees have a tough decision to make here, do they recognize the will of their constituents and make LSS the catchment school for Cedar families or do they opt for the more expensive option of having two bus routes in order to fill Barsby? The right educational and economic choice is obvious.”

3. In the plan that was tabled to the public and approved by trustees in June, the cost of busing ALL cedar students to Barsby was listed at $281,200. The district also hoped that the ministry of education would reward their school closures by buying the new buses necessary to move all these displaced Cedar Students. However, that is not ministry policy. Ministry policy states they will replace aging buses but not buy new ones that are needed as a result of school closures.

“So now we find out that the actual number is closer to $500k for less than half the students and closer to $750k for all the students, what happened to $281,200? Did they make that up? And if they made that up, what else did they make up?” Rae asked.

This means that the hoped for operational savings listed by closing Cedar Secondary School no longer exist. It only costs $658,363 to run Cedar Secondary School each year. Rae goes on to say, “All along the Save Cedar Schools Coalition has asserted that the costs and savings stated by the district were incorrect. 

months later, AFTER the vote we find out that it is going to cost between $500,000-$750,000 to bus students out of the community, this whole plan is just plain wrong and everything about it stinks

Furthermore, since the ministry is not going to buy the buses as hoped, the district now needs to pay for four buses to bus Cedar students away from the newest and fullest high school in the district. This means $540,000 is going to be spent to buy the necessary buses and that is $540k that is not being spent in other necessary areas in this district.

So let’s review the success of the Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan so far; we have soaring transportation costs associated with a plan that was supposed to save money. Through volunteers on the school construction committee, we know that the costs of renovating Cedar Secondary into an elementary school are mounting beyond the approved budget of $1.5 million and trustees on this committee have stated that this original number was “made up.”

We learned through our FOI’s that the district and trustees have known since July 11 that there is no money coming from the ministry for the many new build schools they have planned in Ladysmith and Nanaimo, including the new NDSS. And finally, the district is fighting a lawsuit from the Snuneymuxw First Nation over a lack of consultation regarding this plan when all they needed to do was just sit down at the table with them.

The proverbial wheels are coming off the bus here folks, the right thing to do is to stop, take a breath and do a thorough and proper analysis of what are the best economical and educational choices to make for the district as a whole in time when our district is facing a $6 million operational shortfall.

The Save Cedar Schools coalition has numerous costed options that would result in a newly built high school in the city proper that doesn’t rely on ministry funding and would still allow John Barsby to remain open and Cedar to keep the newest and fullest high school in the district open. Once again, we look forward to meeting with the trustees to discuss these options when they finally realize that this plan is a complete and utter failure for the ENTIRE school district.

SD68 school closures and coal mines

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the Nanaimo/Ladysmith School Trustees voted on accepting a 10 year educational plan for School District 68 (SD68). The SD68 school closures are as follows:

2013 School Closures:
Junior Learning Alternatives, 897 Harbour View St., Nanaimo
South Wellington Elementary, 1536 Morden Road, Nanaimo

2014 School Closures:
Senior Learning Alternatives (VAST), 10 Strickland St., Nanaimo
Cedar Community Secondary, 1640 Macmillan Rd, Nanaimo

2015 School Closures:
Woodbank Primary, 1984 Woobank Rd., Nanaimo
North Cedar Intermediate, 2215 Gould Road, Nanaimo

Deferred School Closures:
North Oyster Elementary, 13470 Cedar Road
École Davis Road Elementary, 444 Parkhill Terrace, Ladysmith

CedarMap3 SD68 school closures and coal mines

SD68 School Closure Map

Ladysmith École Davis Road Elementary fights on

Ladysmith2 SD68 school closures and coal mines

Ladysmith Ecole Davis School

Elementary School École Davis Road in Ladysmith was slated in 2012 as the first school in SD68 to receive renovations. Now SD68 wants to close it.

Before these school closures were announced, SD68 had 31 elementary schools, 7 secondary schools and 2 secondary alternate schools.

Nanaimo gets school closures; Victoria gets new schools

At the same time as Nanaimo, Cedar, and Ladysmith are facing school closures, Oak Bay, Langford, and Sooke are getting new schools, as part of the province’s $353 million school capital plan announced in October 31, 2011.

SD62 (Sooke) and Oak Bay will get 3 secondary schools for a total cost of $144.9 million:

  • replacement for Belmont Secondary $54 million
  • new secondary school in Royal Bay $40.8 million
  • new Oak Bay High School $50.1 million

George Abbott, former Minister of Education, had announced on December 9, 2011:

“$1.5 million in funding will be provided to support rural and remote elementary schools with fewer than 75 students that are 40 km from the next school… $3.7 million in funding will be added to the Low Enrolment Factor, increasing it to approximately $52.8 million to provide $1.375 million to every district with 2,500 or fewer students.”

Did they find more coal deposits and need a reason to clear everyone out? Rumours are flying around that the new Nanaimo hotel will house temporary foreign workers who will work in Cedar and Extension coal mines.

Free Septic Smart Workshops

The Regional District of Nanaimo is offering free Septic Smart workshops to residents on how to properly care for their residential septic systems.

Learn how to maintain your septic system so that it will last longer and function properly and have the least impact on your house and property.

Gabriola Commons  Monday October 29, 6:30 – 8:00pm  675 North Road, Gabriola Island.

Bradley Centre  Tuesday October 30, 6:30 – 8:00pm  975 Shearme Road, Coombs.

Cranberry Hall  Wednesday November 7, 6:30 – 8:00pm  1555 Morden Road, South Wellington.

Register for the workshops by calling 250-248-3252 or 1-888-828-2069 for more information visit the Regional District of Nanaimo

Cedar Main Street Design Project

You are invited to an open house on the Cedar Main Street Project – Community Design Charrette.

The Open House will be held at Cedar Secondary School, 1640 MacMillan Road, on     Tuesday, June 19, 2012 from 4pm to 7pm followed by a presentation from 7pm to 9pm.

This planning initiative is aimed at creating an illustrated village plan for the area, which includes the lands located on both sides of Cedar Road between MacMillan and Hemer Roads.

The Cedar Main Street Design Project is intended to guide the future development of the main street corridor. The resulting plan could result in changes within the community including land use, transportation, housing, recreation, employment, and servicing.

For more information visit the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Island Grown Argicultural Survey

Do you know where your food comes from and if it is grown here on Vancouver Island?

You are encouraged to take a survey about your locally grown food on Growing Our Future www.growingourfuture.ca. The online survey is open until June 11, 2012.

The Regional District of Nanaimo has a ‘Agricultural Area Plan’ that is intended to celebrate and expand local food production and identifying barriers and opportunities for growth in the local agriculture industry.  You can find out more about what’s being done to secure local food sources. Also, background reports and information are also available on the site.

Watershed Protection Program

Green building and water protection incentives are now available to residents for:

  • upgrading old wood stoves
  • installing domestic solar hot water systems
  • rainwater harvesting
  • grading site-cut timber for use in construction
  • conducting home energy assessments
  • installing a residential electric vehicle charging station

Those who achieve a high score on the Sustainable Development Checklist can be eligible for an additional incentive ranging in value from $500 to $1000.

Incentives are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.  Approval is required before you can claim rainwater harvesting.

For more information visit The Regional District of Nanaimo or email sustainability(at)rdn.bc.ca.