School board chair Moyra Baxter says proposed new catchment areas for Lake Country are first on the agenda in the new year for the school board.

Public meeting in January to go over new catchment areas for Lake Country elementary schools

With overcrowding at Davidson Road and the two other elementary schools under capacity, school board looking to change catchments

Proposed new catchment boundaries for Lake Country elementary schools is one of the top priorities for the Central Okanagan School Board.

The newly elected board—Oyama’s Deb Butler is representing Lake Country—held its inaugural meeting last week where Peachland school trustee Moyra Baxter was elected to sit at the chair of the school board for the third straight one-year term.

Baxter said the new Lake Country catchment boundaries, designed to alleviate overcrowding at Davidson Road elementary, will be up for discussion early in the new year as changes will have to be decided upon early in the year, to properly get the word out to parents.

The Central Okanagan School Board has called a public consultation meeting for Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. at Peter Greer elementary.

Baxter along with fellow board member Rolli Cacchioni were nominated for the position of school board chair at the board of trustees’ inaugural meeting this week and Baxter was elected as the chair for the upcoming year.

“I’m pleased to receive the support of the board,” said Baxter on Thursday. “I want to carry on the work of supporting our teachers, support staff and parents.”

Baxter also said the board expects to deal with a proposal to change the grade configuration in Rutland schools in January as well.

The school board would like to move to a model across the region that sees elementary schools run from Kindergarten to Grade 5, middle school include Grade 6,7,8 and high schools house students beginning in Grade 9. Rutland is the only region that could handle the change with its current schools.

The change in grade configuration wouldn’t come into play in Lake Country until a proposed new middle school is built, still years away. Grade 7 students in Lake Country have already been moved to an annex at George Elliot secondary. The change in catchment areas will better disburse Lake Country students between Davidson Road, Peter Greer and Oyama Traditional. Both Peter Greer and Oyama are under capacity.

Last week’s meeting of the board was the first meeting since the November civic elections. Baxter said perhaps the biggest issue the trustees face is re-building relationships after this year’s teacher’s strike.

“We heard about it in the election campaign and time and again,” she said. “Going through the teacher’s strike was not easy on anybody and we came out of that feeling quite beaten down. We have to work hard on re-building relationships with teachers, parents and support staff because we have always taken great pride in that.”

Along with Baxter and Cacchioni, the school board consists of Deb Butler, Julia Fraser, Chris Gorman, Lee Mossman and Lee-Ann Tiede.

The next school board meeting is Jan. 14.