Letters to the editor 

Re: We do not want to send our children to Spring Creek.

I would like to respond to Shelley Phelan’s letter to your paper last week. While it seems that an easy solution to the school board’s financial woes would be to not open Spring Creek Elementary School, there are many reasons that this is not the best solution.

• The portables are filled to capacity. One of the classes is within one or two students of reaching the limits set by the fire department. The Ministry of Education has not put a limit on class sizes for intermediate students, who are the ones using the portables. The primary classes are smaller, but because there are no washrooms, the decision was to keep them in the school building.

• The washrooms are another issue. They were built for a school population half the size of what we have now. Take a look at them at the end of the day to notice the kind of hard use that they receive. It is no wonder that during flu season we had 14 per cent of our children away sick on one day.

• The staff has limited lunch and coffee breaks. They have to shoehorn into one of the tiniest staff rooms you will ever see. Stick your head in there during lunch (that’s all that will fit) to see it filled with double the staff it was designed for – not very restful!

• Our school secretary is handling double the load that other schools have to handle. The playground supervisors are trying to keep an eye on almost 600 children during recess and lunch. The RMOW is frustrated by their attempts to re-sod the upper field at the school as they watch it beaten into submission by the pitter patter of those 600 pairs of feet.

Please appreciate the effort that was made on our behalf to acquire a new school. Had it not been for the glacial bureaucracy in place at the time we would be in this school now. The reason I joined the PAC in the first place was to see how this school developed and to be a part of it. A committee was formed that included parents to find a site. Looking back perhaps more public input could have been solicited, as has happened with the Modified School Calendar survey. The school is almost built and we must live with the decisions that were made. Whistler has seen fast paced growth and we need to learn to adapt to the changes.

The new principal, Linda Watson, came to our last PAC meeting and had some words of wisdom for the parents of the school. To paraphrase, she said to prepare children for the change that parents should emphasize the positives of the new school. Children will pick up on the negative feelings that their parents have about the school and it may make the change over more difficult for them. Both schools will have a smaller population, which may have some positive effects. There is an opportunity to create a new school culture – make this the kind of school you want for your child.

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