School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board needs to hear from parents

Creston Valley Teachers’ Association president Doug Kunzelman hasn't seen parents at this year's school board meetings...

To the Editor:

(Re: “COLUMN: The consequences of choice”)

I just finished reading the column by School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) Supt. Jeff Jones. The column outlined legislation that provided parents the right to send their children to any school they want, as opposed to the school in the neighborhood in which they reside, and the obligation of the district to comply with these requests.

The column seemed to imply that many of the current problems in our schools this year have been caused, at least in part, by people taking advantage of these obligations. Problems such as three-grade split classes in elementary schools, classes larger than allowed by legislation, closed libraries, insufficient supports for students, untenable class compositions that result in teachers having to spend too much time managing classes instead of teaching, and so on. It seemed to attribute these problems, partly, to those who choose to send their students to schools outside of their catchment area, those who enroll their students in specialty programs and those who have students taking part in exchange programs.

However, at the Sept. 30 school board meeting, the district reported a $2.3 million surplus.

Something I find disturbing about this seemingly inconceivable situation is that, so far this year, I have not seen one parent attend a school board meeting in Creston. School board meetings are open to the public and although most take place in Nelson, they are videoconferenced to the Creston Education Centre. Each meeting provides opportunities for the public to comment on issues directly to the trustees and senior management of the school district. And if you hang around until the end, there is always a time set aside for questions from the public, as well. Meetings are every second Tuesday. The next one is on Oct. 27, then Nov. 10 and so on. The complete schedule can be found online at

If you have concerns about the education system that your child is a part of, come on out and have your thoughts heard by those who can make changes.

Doug Kunzelman, President

Creston Valley Teachers’ Association

Creston Valley Advance