Students talk about trip

Notes from the October board of education meeting that was held in Midway.

Grade 8 students Sarah MacDonald

A delegation of students was the focus of a presentation to trustees and senior administration prior to the Oct. 14 School District 51 (Boundary) meeting in Midway.

Grade 8 students Sarah MacDonald, Rosemary Steele and Faith Zitko gave their presentation of their schools’ Grade 6/7 field trip, where 37 students, seven “brave” parents and one bus driver took to the road and toured Vancouver and Victoria, going everywhere from the Parliament Building to the Bug Zoo. To finance the trip, $15,000 was raised over the course of two years, through fundraisers such as a spaghetti dinner, bingo nights and bake tables.

Other topics discussed at the school board meeting were enrollment, the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, and the District Parental Advisory Council (DPAC).

Expected projections of enrollment as of Oct. 8 were low, with an expected loss of 29 students; however, student enrollment is actually up 19 students.

Trustee Vicky Gee spoke about the proposed Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, an initiative that would get people to try monitor and conserve water usage. “This plan affects everybody in the whole area; it’s a very comprehensive plan,” Gee said.

She continued, “As an institution, schools are probably big water users, and there are some philosophical issues. In the past we have talked about watering school grounds. What’s really nice about how the plan is laid out is that it’s not hard and fast, it’s saying we need to analyze this; we need to look at government and assess. It’s aiming for something, to align government and resources along with it.”

Doug Lacey, director of learning, agreed with Gee’s proposal. “Questioning our consumption is definitely something we can ask ourselves. I think a lot of it that can come to the operations committee and look at the consumption, for example, there are different grass blends that would consume a tenth of the water. It’s not really that cost prohibitive an idea, I like the idea of giving a statement of the board’s direction of water consumption on their buildings.”

The board agreed on the motion to pass the issue on to the Operations Committee for further review.

The current DPAC executive is getting ready to retire. The board proposed having representatives from West Boundary and BCSS who were former members of DPAC go to the meetings. It was agreed that they should find ways to keep momentum in the program going, with incentives to make it easier on parents to attend, such as teleconference, or carpooling. As Rose Zitko, board DPAC rep, put it, “Try to introduce something that has extra excitement into something that has focus.”

The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the board office in Grand Forks.