The bus program is completely optional! The VSB indicates that it is the parents’ responsibility to get their children to school. It is up to parents to decide how their kids will get to school each day and to make appropriate arrangements.
A few highlights:
•If you wish to have your child participate in the bus program, please bring the completed registration form and payment with you to school on the first day. Payment consists of two cheques for each child : one for term 1 and one for term 2. So for every child you wish to have participate in the bus program, please submit a registration form and two cheques. Registration will be much easier and quicker if you have the registration form completed and the cheques written by the time you arrive at school on the first day.
•Ridership is first-come, come, first-served, with the priority as described in the letter
•If a space is available for your child/children, they will receive a confirmation letter at school by September 10.
•The Bus Program will begin operating on Wednesday September 11
•This is the last year of the bus program
Due to questions from 2012-13 Grade 7 parents, I went to UHill Secondary and talked with Principal Alex Grant.
He said Gr. 8’s in Fall 2013 will be enrolled at the new NRC location of UHill Secondary. He explained that the expected capacity problems excluding the Gr. 8’s long term at the NRC location won’t affect the school at the beginning.
It gets more interesting for the Gr. 8’s in Fall 2014 and beyond. The new Acadia Rd. school is expected to be completed by then. The different transition scenarios for UHill Elementary / Acadia Rd. Elementary and Acadia Rd. Middle School (Gr. 6 – 8) are still being worked out. Uncertainties with construction completion don’t make these scenarios any easier to figure out.
A status update meeting regarding the construction of the Acadia Rd. Elementary School was held on Oct. 4, 2012. Below is a summary of the information and questions discussed:
David Nelson, District Principal, and I presented an updated timeline for the completion of the new Acadia Road Elementary School, showed some pictures of the construction progress, and answered questions from the audience.
The timeline changed because the opening of the new NRC/U. Hill secondary school was delayed until January 1, 2013. Once the current U. Hill Secondary building is vacated it will be demolished and construction will begin on the west wing of the new Acadia Road elementary school. I have attached some pictures of the construction currently underway on the east wing. The end result is that the new Acadia Road school will be ready for September 2014.
Community members in attendance asked about the transition to the new school and we responded that we were looking at each of the grades to determine when it would be best to begin in the new school. For example we may want to avoid a cohort of students being in their current school for most of elementary school and then going to the new school for one year. This process, that involves students from all of the nearby schools, has not yet been determined.
Parents also asked about the cross boundary application process and what considerations were being given to the existing schools in order to prevent a mass exodus. The cross boundary process in Vancouver is based on the school choice legislation that states that students can apply to any school in the district and will be accepted provided that there is room. This process begins in January and parents are notified of acceptance for the next school year by the end of March. Schools have an obligation to first provide programs for students living in the catchment area and then accept cross boundary applications.
A new school in the community also affects nearby schools. Neighbouring schools are reviewing what new and existing programs would retain and attract students. The school district is also reviewing district programs and programs of choice as part of the sectoral review that was initiated last year.
I hope this gives you a sense of the meeting. Please let me know if I can help in any way
The Vancouver School Board has scheduled 2 meetings in September to speak to parents about the design of the new elementary and the expanded University Hill Secondary school. For more information, please refer to the pdf documents below: