Summer isn’t always a quiet and relaxing time in the school district, and this year was a great example of the hard work that takes place to get our schools ready for kids.
Thanks to new provincial requirements and funding around class size and composition, our district—like 59 others in the province—had the opportunity to do things differently with the placement of our kids in classes starting this September. Smaller class sizes mean more classroom space requirements, and because of these changes we created more than 60 new divisions across the district!
This is all great news for kids, but what does all of this mean in terms of physical space to accommodate these new classes?
At some schools, you’ll notice that there are no longer portables on their property – those have been relocated to a school that needed to create more classroom space than they had available inside.
Where did they all go? Drinkwater Elementary received the most portables, providing a new home to four. Two portables went to Crofton Elementary, and two more went to Discovery Elementary. Cowichan Secondary School (James Street) received two as well. This fall, Cowichan Secondary School (Quamichan) will receive some modular classrooms – these were not needed for the fall semester, so work will finish on those this month.
To give you an idea of what these portables look like, we took a little tour and snapped some photos. The spaces are clean and refreshed. All have their own heating and cooling systems, and all elementary portables have a washroom available for students. While the exterior still needs some work (and will receive it in the coming months) the inside where our kids learn looks great.
Portables aren’t the only new classroom spaces in our schools – there were a number of unused classroom spaces in schools that were re-opened to create new class spaces. For example, a few previously underutilized rooms at the back of Alexander Elementary are now beautiful, welcoming classroom spaces. And at Drinkwater Elementary, some new spaces were created to better support students who need more one-on-one learning support throughout the day.
Big thanks to our trades, custodians and grounds crews who have worked so hard over the summer to get this work to substantial completion. Their first priority was making sure kids had a great classroom space to learn in come September, and we believe they accomplished just that.
Photos 1-4: Portables and new learning spaces at Drinkwater Elementary
Photos 5-6: Re-opened classrooms at Alexander Elementary
Photo 7: Portables at Crofton Elementary