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LETTER: School District 8’s Central School decisions

From reader Jim Sevigny

This letter illustrates what senior SD8 administration have accomplished at Central School in the last few years to further their interests.

Two years ago SD8 took over the top floor of Central School and completed an extensive renovation turning classroom space into offices. Today, more than half of the building houses an ever-expanding administrative staff. What used to be a classroom for 23 students is now an office for two people, superintendent Christine Perkins and the secretary-treasurer Michael McLellan. The students are in a noisy basement space under the gym, in a room with holes in the ceiling and a broken window.

When SD8 took over the top floor they needed more parking stalls and did this by eliminating playground space. Drive by the Central School parking lot in the daytime and have a look for yourself. More playground space is needed but SD8 refuses to relinquish parking stalls.

The simple solution to the space problem at Central School is one additional classroom.

In January 2021, the Wildflower Parents Advisory Committee was advised by Christine Perkins and SD8 staff that this was feasible and within their budgetary constraints. So what happened? What happened was that biased documents were prepared by SD8 staff outlining their needs and these were presented to the trustees who in turn supported staff’s recommendations for no improvements, no renovation, no expansion and/or reallocation of space. This is blatant conflict of interest.

SD8 administration has played its hand with strategic underfunding and consolidation with the objective of gaining more space at Central School. SD8 has expropriated more than half the classroom space, much of the playground area at Central School, and now their intention is to gain more space by dismantling the Wildflower Middle School program.

Jim Sevigny

Nelson

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