March 7, 2018
For Immediate Release
Board votes to end Cowichan Secondary dual campus model
COWICHAN VALLEY, BC – Candace Spilsbury, Chair of the Board of Education for School District No. 79 (Cowichan Valley) has released the following statement after the Board voted in favour of ending the Cowichan Secondary School dual campus model beginning in the 2018/19 school year at the March 6, 2018 public meeting of the Board:
“Last night the Board of Education voted in favour of a motion to separate Cowichan Secondary School’s James Street and Quamichan campuses, ending the current dual campus model. This means that beginning in the 2018/19 school year, there will be two individually operated schools—one for Grade 8 and 9 students, and one for Grades 10-12.
In consideration of the concerns raised from our school community regarding safety of students who travel between campuses, the operational benefits of two separate schools, and the opportunity presented to address school capacity with the placement of three modular structures at Quamichan, the Board and district staff felt it would be a good time to review the dual campus model.
After a period of public feedback in February regarding the opportunity to create two separate schools, the Board determined that the safety of students was the top priority and eliminating the dual campus model was the best decision for students. We also recognized that there were additional benefits to ending the dual campus model, operationally, professionally, and for student learning. The two schools will now be able to schedule learning in a way that better meets the unique learning needs of each student population. It also means strengthened connections between staff and students, which is particularly important for our vulnerable learners.
Many parents and staff expressed support for the idea of separating the schools and ending the dual campus model. We know that some are supportive of the current dual campus model, and would prefer to see the schools remain as one, even if movement between campuses is limited or eliminated. However, the Board did not believe that this option was in the best interest of student learning, and it would not address some of the operational challenges dual campus presented.
Everyone has worked very hard since the start of dual campus to try to make this model work, and we thank them all for their support and effort. We look forwarding to continuing to work collaboratively in support of student learning as we now transition to the new model.”
View a PDF version of this statement.
Phone: 250-748-0321 ext. 308