Tuesday, January 30, 2024

January school Board session hears of PRMS Successes, concerns over trespassing at Westview School property

The Prince Rupert Board of Education hosted their monthly session two weeks ago, a near fifty minute update on a number of themes, along with a look at the progress for the SD52 education program for 2023-24.

This month's session opened with a presentation from Kerri Levelton providing a  review of some of the recent successful initiatives found at Prince Rupert Middle School.

The overview was well received by the Board membership, who had a few questions for one of the students on hand for the review of some of the schools events and adventures.

Towards their agenda of work on the night, a look at enrolment from Sandra Pond noted of an increase of twelve students with 1,850 students currently attending the schools of the District

Ms. Pond expanded on some of the events over the last few months that took place at the schools around the District, she highlighted the Breakfast Club program that is found at the schools. 

As well she noted of the success of the CHSS Musical Something's Rotten and the recent visit of  BC Science World. 

The ongoing success for the Before and After Care programs at Pineridge and Conrad Schools was also a topic of note, with Ms. Pond observing how that has meant additional staff hirings for the program.

A request for a review of FSA Result participation related to provincial data was deferred to an upcoming meeting.

She also noted of the growing volume of viruses being found in the community and urged those suffering not to bring those virus to the schools.

Board Chair Kate Toye observed that masks are available at schools for students or staff who may wish to use one.

The Secretary-Treasurer's Report reviewed a number of Repots from Expenditures, Operations and Information Technology 

It was noted that the Board was currently working on their Amended Budget work.

Board member Horne, noted of there recent removal of the City's water advisory and  had questions related to the use of the new second bus for the District.

James Warburton outlined some of the use that the new vehicle had received. observing of the record keeping program that they have towards it. He outlined how the additional bus had resulted in some additional trips for sports teams to travel out of town.

He also provided some background towards questions from Trustee Beil asked towards vandalism issues related to the Westview school property and noted of the measures taken to this point to try to keep people off the School property.

He observed that in addition to the vandalism, residents had been using the property as a form of dumping grounds for a number of goods.

Trustee Beil suggested that with a number of concerning activities taking place on that property that proper signage to alert people that there is No Trespassing allowed on School properties.

"It's been a never ending saga to be  painting over the vandals when it happens up there.

We've been watching to see what know of activity is happening,  sometimes people will drive in and they'll drive all the way around the back of the school and we don't know why that's happening. 

So made the decision to put that rope back up to keep stop people from driving in there now.

We have cleaned things up there, people will dump old mattresses, pallets and sometimes used oil and a bunch of thing that we've picked up from around the Westview property" -- Operations Manager James Warburton

Trustee Beil noted of those instances and other concerns that she has about those trespassing on the property while Trustee Horne noted that some residents  from the area use the area for recreation activities, but concurred with the need for signage.

Board Chair Toye noted that they don't have those signs on other school properties, with trustee Beal observing that in this case the school is not in use and that there are significant dangers for the Westview property without more attention from the Board.

"It's a vacant  piece of property, it can't be managed and when it can't be managed we're at higher risk, I mean  if it was like a School property it's a little different that there's students going to the facility 

But there isn't the school is being abused by citizens of Prince Rupert  for activities that aren't conducive to what the School Act is.  Dropping mattresses, drinking, eventually there's going to be a fire and that school's going to be on fire, I'm telling you I'm concerned about that school" -- SD52 Trustee Janet Beil

For Trustee Horne the issue of the building not being in use is making it a target for those in the community.

"Also graffiti that James's had said as well, so because there's nobody there, people feel that it's an opportunity to come in as opposed to a school that's populated. And I think that based just off of what he saying it would be a good idea to to do, it doesn't have to be anything crazy, but just some signage" -- SD52 Trustee James Horne

The board members then voted to take measures towards the issue at the property.

Trustee Dalton returned to the topic of the District's bus fleet and what they do with the buses in the summer. He advised that during that period they are  parked and provide for inspections in August prior to the start of the school year.

From the IT department report, it was noted of the placement of smart boards at Roosevelt School.

A review of the funding for the EV Charger program and upgrades for the Sprinkler System program followed from the Agenda package.

Trustee Horne noted of the plans from Senior levels of Government towards increased use of EV Vehicles in the future and asked how the School District was approaching that shift in the provincial and federal focus.

Superintendent Samoil outlined how the District is approaching the topic, noting that they charge a fee for the public to use the facility and how the District will begin to introduce Electric Vehicles to their fleet in the year ahead.

The Board members discussed of the potential need for more charging stations as the District plans continue to move forward.

As for the Sprinkler program the Secretary Treasurer noted that the District would first address issues at  Conrad School which would cost up to 1.7 million dollars. Work is also required at Charles Hays Secondary and Roosevelt School.

She noted that provincial funding is available towards that work.

The Board members were in consensus of the need for the issues to be addressed.

The remainder of the Agenda was taken on quickly with few questions raised towards the items on the list.

One item of note from the list was the Policy work related to the Trustee Remuneration and Expense Allowance policies, which noted of some concerns over a lack of incentive for those that may want to seek office as a Board trustee.

Trustee Beil spoke to the theme of remuneration and how it should be viewed.

"When you run for public office you're running because you care about the interest you're running for.

You're running for the student body, you're running to protect students and ensuring they get a good education. So I just wanted to clarify that, that's what the remuneration is for.

It's for you to be able to take that day off if you need to go to a meeting in Vancouver or to Terrace or wherever, that's why you get provided that remuneration. 

So frankly I never had a concern about that, because I understand that people don't want to run for Boards because the remuneration may be a lot lower than they expect it to be.

But that's the choice you make. I mean, do you get less calibre people running for boards?

I don't think we're any less than anyone else out there"

Trustee Dalton provided some observations related to some of the other Boards that she has been a part of. 

Towards the work on the Remuneration policy, the members will continue to work on the development of it with it to return to the Committee prior to coming back to the Board.

As part of the wrap up to the evening's agenda, Mike McDowall provided for an update on plans for the upcoming Welcome to French Immersion program at École Roosevelt Park School. Noting of the public sessions in January for parents and guardians to learn more about the program in the District.

The January 15th Board Session can be viewed below, accessed from the SD52 Archive page

More notes on Education in the Prince Rupert area can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of Education in the Northwest is available here.


  1. Is there a function available on blogspot to alert you to typos, incorrect factoids and such? Would be nice for readers to engage without having to post publicly.

    Renumeration*** :)

    1. To answer your question, so you can see it ...

      There is an email address available at the bottom right of the blog to contact me.


      Be sure to cc SD52 though


    2. "Remuneration" is the correct word. "Renumeration" is a common misspelling.