School District 91 organized a meeting on May 8 at William Konkin Elementary in Burns Lake to propose a new form of the Professional Learning Communities program, however only a small number of parents attended. (Lakes District News file photo)

Low turnout at SD91 meeting irritates parents

An attempt by School District 91 (SD91) to inform the public in Burns Lake about a new educational program left many parents frustrated.

Officials from SD91 had called a meeting on May 8 at William Konkin Elementary (WKE) to propose a new form of the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) program.

However, the meeting was poorly attended and some Burns Lake parents who were at the event said officials hadn’t properly publicized it and very few people showed up.

The PLC scheme involves teachers meeting together at various times for professional development to explore ways to enhance students’ learning experience.

In Burns Lake, PLCs have been in place at WKE and Lakes District Secondary School for several years. In the wider region the program is also done in Fort St.James, Smithers and Prince George.

SD91 has been running PLCs since 2014.

The meeting at WKE was held so that a new model in which students would be sent home early on PLC days could be proposed to the parents, said Mike Skinner, assistant superintendent with SD91.

Skinner admitted that the meeting’s execution was inadequate.

“Given the low turnout at the meeting, it was evident that our efforts have fallen short for advertising and sharing information. After reflecting, we are renewing our consultation process to ensure broad parental involvement that includes several more opportunities and ways to provide feedback,” he explained.

“This will include proposal information and a survey on each school website and at least one more parent meeting. The consultation process will continue into the fall of 2019.”

In the PLC model currently used at schools in Burns Lake, students are dismissed from class early but remain at school and are supervised in various activities by support staff.

The school board is proposing the shift to the new model so that “support staff can spend more time with teachers and so that there are more opportunities for cross-school collaboration between teachers,” Skinner said.

Schools in Fort St.James went through a consultation process for the new model and began piloting it in January of 2018. They have been running the released-from-school model every month since then, for one afternoon per month.

Skinner said that more information about the proposal will be posted in a week or 10 days on each school’s website.

But some residents are already unsure about the new bid and are eager to learn more because they worry that sending students home early will put pressure on working parents.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Burns Lake sees a peaceful protest denouncing the police killing of George Floyd

Cheryl Casimir, a member of the task group for First Nations Summit… Continue reading

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read