More and more, the Comox Valley is becoming a popular destination to work, live and play, thus attracting many Canadians from within the province and across the nation, including young families, to take up residency.
The trend is bringing about change with in the Comox Valley schools. We have seen a shift from a period of declining enrolment to an increase student population. We have also seen a shift as to where families choose to settle. Both are key indicators that we are in a period of transition and that will impact how we plan to use facilities in the future.
In response to the increasing population, School District 71 (SD71) has updated its Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) to reflect the changing climate.
The Ministry of Education 2016/17 Capital Plan Instructions issued June 2016 require Boards of Education to develop and maintain a current School District Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP). The LRFP is a comprehensive report on the physical condition and capacity of its schools and a forecast on how to continue to use these facilities cost-effectively into the future.
The fundamental premise of the LRFP is to provide a mechanism for districts to demonstrate to the Ministry of Education that they are managing their facilities in an effective, economic and efficient way in support of educational goals. An LRFP also serves as a basis for School District 71's submission for requests for capital projects and are used by the Ministry of Education to make investment decisions.
Public consultation is part of the process for any major projects the District undertakes. More importantly, it is an opportunity to seek feedback from the community and to bring new ideas and input back to the table for consideration by the Board of Education on how to plan the use of its facilities and for capital projects.
On March 6 and 7, the Facilities Committee, chaired by Trustee Ian Hargreaves, hosted two public information sessions to educate parents, business leaders and the community at large about the district's long term plans for the physical structure and utilizations of district schools. During these sessions we specifically asked for feedback on two key areas:
- In general, what feedback do you have on the draft report as presented?
- As the Board looks toward the future, what factors should be considered as a backdrop for future long range facility planning? Consider matters such as grade configurations, program types and locations, modernization of teaching and learning, etc.)
If you weren't able attend a session and would still like to participate, we would love to hear from you. Feedback can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org The full draft report and the presentation are available for viewing below: