Transition groups are being formed in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district to help with the impending changes to many local schools as a result of the recently adopted 10-year facilities plan.
Superintendent Dave Hutchinson outlined for the school board on Wednesday the transition work that will be required to be completed over the coming year as several schools undergo major changes. He said there will be school-transition working groups established to help plan the transition of Cedar Secondary School students to John Barsby school next year; junior and senior learning alternate students to Nanaimo District Secondary School, and the expansion of Ladysmith Secondary School to a Grade 7-12 school with French immersion programs.
Hutchinson said the working groups will include representatives of stakeholder groups, including parents, teachers and administrators, and will address a number of topics, including staffing implications, student support services, disposition of properties and orientation activities for student who will be switching schools.
Jamie Brennan, chairman of the school board, said the working groups will be established within the next few weeks.
He said that, despite challenges to the district's plan to close Cedar Secondary School in June, 2014, with its students given the choice of transferring to either John Barsby or Ladysmith secondary schools, plans are moving forward to convert the high school into a consolidated elementary school for students in the area. Brennan said Vancouver-based KMBR Architects Planners Inc., which was recently chosen by the district to design and supervise the conversion of Cedar Secondary School to an elementary school, met with the Cedar elementary vision committee this week to bring the group up to date on their plans for the school.
"We're also in the process of bringing groups of students from Cedar secondary to John Barsby to meet with the teachers and get used to the school, as well as having teachers from John Barsby visit Cedar school to talk about their opportunities at their new school," Brennan said.
"We haven't done the same at Ladysmith Secondary School at this point because we know at this stage the number of students that intend to go there." The Save Cedar School Coalition holds a community meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. at Cedar Community Hall to discuss the planned closure of Cedar secondary.
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