Over the last number of years, the population of Lake Cowichan has grown. This population growth has resulted in increased student enrolment at Lake Cowichan’s K-3 school, Palsson Elementary. The 2022/23 school year continues this trend, and due to the increase student enrolment, Palsson Elementary is expanding.
For the last two years, approximately 60 students per year have registered for Kindergarten at the school. This is a welcomed, but sharp, increase from previous years. In order to facilitate the student population growth, a new portable classroom is being brought to Palsson over the summer.
Bringing in a new portable classroom allows the school to facilitate growth this year, as well as being able to keep the local community StrongStart program on school property. The new portable will be installed adjacent to the other portables on the site ensuring it is installed as an accessible building. Moving the portable to this position requires the removal of a small section of the foliage and smaller trees that border the school field in the school district’s Friendship Forest.
Over the summer, there will be temporary closures of parts of the Friendship Forest path that are adjacent to the school for the removal of the foliage and smaller trees. Otherwise the forest will remain intact and accessible to the community during the installation of the portable classroom.
The district knows what a special shared resource its Friendship Forest is for the Lake Cowichan community. Staff are working to ensure that changes to the forest, and any necessary temporary closures, are minimized as we continue to create new space to accommodate continued community growth.