SD 54 seeking feedback on Houston school reconfiguration plan

Cancels in-person session due to PHO order

Silverthorne was approved for a $1.5 million funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development last year. (Houston Today file photo)

Silverthorne was approved for a $1.5 million funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development last year. (Houston Today file photo)

School District 54 (SD 54) is seeking feedback from the Houston school community members on the school district’s plan to reconfigure the Houston schools.

The school district met with staff from Houston schools in the first week of November last year to start the discussions around the grade reconfigurations at the elementary schools in Houston. What this means is that the school district wants to make Silverthorne Elementary School into a focused primary school and to shift Twain Sullivan’s focus completely to intermediate levels. A public presentation to gather feedback from the school community was to take place during the annual facilities review however, the presentation was cancelled due to the provincial health officer (PHO) orders due to rising COVID-19 cases.

In a letter addressed to the school community, Superintendent Mike McDiarmid wrote, “It is with disappointment that I am writing this letter to you today. The School District was hoping to have an in person community discussion about the upcoming grade reconfigurations at the two Elementary Schools in Houston. Unfortunately, due to the local COVID situation and current Provincial guidelines, we have decided to reach out to the Houston school community in this manner instead.”

The school district has posted a PowerPoint presentation along with the letter on their website, outlining what the reconfiguration would mean.

Earlier last year, Silverthorne was approved for a $1.5 million funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, to include a variety of new childcare spaces.

“Reconfiguring of Houston schools has been a discussion item in the educational community for many years in Houston – 20 plus years. The District believes that with the current Silverthorne upgrades focusing on daycare spaces, before and after school care and a Strongstart space, it is the right time to shift the focus of the school to Early Learning. The School District strongly believes that creating a Primary/Early Learning Center at Silverthorne will benefit all primary students. In addition, all intermediate students (Gr.4-7) in Houston will benefit from the campus program that already exists between Houston Secondary and Twain Sullivan Elementary,” wrote McDiarmid.

The school district has opened the floor for discussion through the presentation posted online and is now seeking feedback from the community around the subject. Any comments, questions or concerns can be emailed to sd54@sd54.bc.ca.

“The District is committed to providing the best educational experience for all of the students in Houston and it is without reservation that we have recommended the grade reconfiguration at the schools. At the same time, we do understand that change in schools is sometimes difficult for people and that there are some potential consequences for individual families,” said the letter.

Community members are also being encouraged to reach out to their local School Principals about any questions or concerns around this reconfiguration since they are the ones leading this school change process.

ALSO READ: School District 54 mulls over Houston schools’ reconfiguration


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


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