Parents concerned after children waitlisted to attend Chute Lake Elementary
School District 23 will be holding a meeting at Chute Lake Elementary School to address concerns from parents whose kindergarten children have been waitlisted to attend the Upper Mission school for September.
The parents of the 27 future students were notified earlier this week that their child will have to attend Anne McClymont Elementary School instead of Chute Lake Elementary, leaving many of them disappointed their child won’t be going to their neighborhood school.
One of the parents, Laura Myles, who says she registered her son for kindergarten just seconds after registration opened, doesn’t want her son separated from the children he already knows.
“We’ve been involved in the community, our kids have been going to daycare there for the last 4 years,” she says “It is a strong community, we know our neighbors, we want him to go to school with his friends and neighbors that he’s gotten to know for the past 4 years.”
She says she has two other children that will be starting school in a couple of years and doesn’t want them all attending different schools.
In a statement, the district says rapid growth in the area and limited space in the school led them to wait listing students for the next school year, which includes a number of children in higher grades.
But Myles says it’s been an issue year after year that needs a better solution than sending students out of their catchment area.
“Chute Lake Elementary has been at capacity since it opened 8 years ago,” she says “The population just continues to grow and they’re not doing anything to address it so it’s not just our kids that are going to be affected. The next couple of years are definitely going to be affected by this.”
Larry Paul, Secretary-Treasurer of School District 23, acknowledges the district has had to displace students every year since the school opened, but says they’ve tried their best to accommodate as many students at the school.
“It’s certainly a significant challenge because the area has grown quite rapidly and we’ve tried to make more and more room at the school but the growth is exceeding our ability to create additional space.”
He says a new teacher’s agreement, which followed a recent Supreme Court ruling that restored 2002 contract language, also played a part as class sizes are now smaller.
A new middle school in the area is expected to ease things, however it won't be open for a number of years.
The parent information meeting to discuss the enrolment issues will be on Monday at 4:00pm at Chute Lake Elementary.