Parents must speak up about Alberni school closure

School District 70 may potentially close a school. There are three public meetings to attend, the final one being at Wood School on Feb. 7.

To the Editor,

School District 70 is in the difficult position of potentially closing a school.  There will be three meetings for the public to attend, the final one being at Wood School on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

Wood School is the only public elementary school in Central Port Alberni.  It is in a prime location surrounded by the multiplex, library, pool, museum, etc. When making their argument for the location of the new Alberni District Secondary School, the board made it clear that this is a prime location for a school.

But, now it is one of the schools that the district may close.

We would like to see the board stick to their own beliefs and keep the school open for the reasons they pointed out.

Wood students regularly use the neighbouring facilities, with no busing costs to the district.

Closing Wood would also have a large negative impact on more than just the school kids and families.

When young families move to our town, they most likely look for a neighbourhood with a school close by.  With Wood closed, there would be no elementary schools between Rogers and Dry creeks, leaving Central Port as a location that young families wouldn’t choose to move into.

If families can’t find a home close to a school in a neighbourhood like the Echo Area, they may opt for another town altogether.

There are more than 400 apartments within two kilometres of Wood school, without Wood, these families would also be left with nothing.

Central Port is ranked lowest on the EDI (Early Development Instrument) scale.  It has been shown that a low EDI score can have a large effect on learning. Making some of the most vulnerable kids walk across town to get to school will not help in their most important educational years.

It would be nice to not have any schools close, but there are better choices if it has to be done. North Port has three schools, South Port has two, but Central Port only has one left. Come out to the meetings, get informed, and have your say.

Darren Evans,

Port Alberni