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Letter: Wildflower Parents getting the squeeze at former Central School building

Letters to the editor
By Letters to the editor
April 22nd, 2021

To The Editor:

Wildflower School is a thriving multi-age school from Kindergarten to Grade 9 that operates within the public system.

It is a program of choice, focused on innovative and social-emotional learning that has served the Nelson community for nearly 20 years. Unfortunately, SD8 senior staff does not recognize the value of this education model.

SD8 has turned classrooms into administrative offices at Central School and now students are being squeezed out of their school.

Families and teachers of Wildflower are asking for classroom space at Central, especially now that Grade 9s will not be going to LVR in September. There is potential space for another suitable classroom within the Central building but SD8 is not willing to make any adjustments or improvements for students whom they share this building with.

Current administrative offices occupy all of the top floor and two (2) classrooms in the basement, ALL of which have been recently renovated. No improvements or renovations have been made for students at Central (aside from work pertaining to safety issues), despite an influx of money into the district from the sale of the Johnstone Road property.

Meanwhile, students have a front row seat from the basement to see where some of these funds are going; major upgrades to the upper floor of the building.

Now, SD8 Senior Administration is intent on moving the entire Middle Years Program to Trafalgar School, and they are currently setting the stage for this move.

Families have tirelessly come up with workable solutions to the lack of allotted space in Central School that takes into consideration all stakeholders. In every meeting (over 120 parents at each meeting) or correspondence parents are stonewalled by senior staff.  Trustees are presented with documents prepared by SD8 staff full of half-truths regarding Wildflower school.

As it stands now, the decision made by the board (as a short term solution) is for Wildflower Middle School to remain at Central with no renovation, no allocation of space, and no improvements to the existing space, aside from adding washrooms. This will lead to a slow erosion of a thriving program toward SD8’s ultimate goal of “facilities consolidation” with little regard to quality education and student needs.

Elected Trustees, have the power and responsibility to stop this disregard for honest and transparent process.

I encourage Trustees to back up their support for the Wildflower Program by calling out senior staff on their conflict of interest and bias presentations.

Carol Wallace, Nelson, BC

Categories: LettersOp/Ed

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