Central Okanagan school board chair Moyra Baxter and school district administrator/CEO Kevin Kaardal. Photo: Capital News files

Update: West Kelowna parents look to delay grade reconfiguration

Parents argue due process was not followed in school board decision

Update: 1:18 p.m.

The location of the March 14, 2018 Public Board Meeting has been changed to Hollywood Road Education Services, 1040 Hollywood Road South in Room 1.

The move was made to deal with the expected number of parents to show up and discuss West Kelowna grade reconfiguration.

Original:

Some Westside parents are not ready yet to give up on the Central Okanagan Board of Education’s decision to implement grade reconfiguration to West Kelowna schools this fall.

In the wake of the board adopting the move in the face of heated opposition from parents at a Feb. 28 school board meeting, the issue is back on this week’s board meeting agenda.

The board will be asked to set aside their decision to reconfigure in 2018 so they can follow their own policies and to begin consultation with community partners.

The parents have created a petition which they will present to the board on Wednesday.

A letter submitted by Chantelle Desrosiers is asking for the policy to be delayed, claiming the trustees did not follow due diligence by ignoring standard policy and practice protocols for alerting parents to the potential grade changes.

Related: School grade switch upsets Westside parents

In a press release sent out by Desrosiers along with parents Sara Neukomm and Matthew Witt, the trio state: “School District 23’s Policy and Procedures manual states that the Superintendent must present any school closures or consolidation to the Board of Trustees in November, to be followed by ‘a process of discussion and consultation with parents, staff and the community’ no later than January. The policy also states that ‘consultation will be meaningful, and fair consideration will be given to all public input prior to the Board making its final decision.’

“Not only have the prescribed timelines been violated, but there was no consultation or discussion with the community. Both the Board Chair and the Superintendent acknowledged at the Feb. 28 meeting that the school district’s standard policies and practices were not adhered to in this case.”

In her letter to the board, Desrosiers noted parents don’t feel a need to reiterate the opinions already expressed at the Feb. 28 board meeting, but that trustees consider putting aside their grade reconfiguration decision until proper policy protocols have been adhered to.

The school board meeting will take place at the Hollywood Road Education Services, 1040 Hollywood Road South in Room 1.

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