Chilliwack Board of Education Meets with Minister of Education

Posted on: June 24th, 2016

The Board of Education met with the Honourable Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, on June 16, 2016. The Minister met with the board after touring Promontory Elementary and Sardis Secondary schools with Chair Silvia Dyck and members of the School and District Leadership Teams.

The agenda included enrolment, future projections and capacity challenges in the district. While more than half the schools in SD 33 are at more than 100% capacity, the Promontory area continues to experience further development with no room for additional students. With Vedder Elementary at full capacity, students from Promontory Elementary are now being bussed to Watson Elementary.

SD33 is currently utilizing 67 portables. This equates to 5.2 portables per 1,000 students relative to Surrey’s 3.9. An interim stop-gap measure to support additional student spaces in the Promontory area was proposed to the Ministry of Education to provide a Capital project in the form of an addition to Promontory; even with this addition, portables would still be required at Promontory. The long term solution proposed to the Minister would include a new school on Chilliwack’s south side.

The Chilliwack School District anticipates that an increase in enrolment expected in K-12 for fall 2016 will continue to be a trend as Chilliwack becomes a choice location for families looking for great schools, abundant recreational activities, affordable housing, and a quality lifestyle.

The Board previously met with MLA’s Laurie Throness and John Martin for a similar discussion and also with the City of Chilliwack in May. The Board continues its collaboration and dialogue with community partners to engage them in recognizing and understanding the school district’s critical capacity challenges.

 “Minister Bernier enjoyed the day with us and was well briefed on our challenges. He committed to connect with his provincial colleagues and to provide a response back to the Board on our urgent requests, “said Silvia Dyck, Board Chair.

For further information, please contact:
Evelyn Novak, Superintendent of Schools