Gail Tremeer, president of the Fraser Valley Distance Education School’s Parent Advisory Council, is letting parents know that changes are on the horizon for the distance learning program. She just isn’t sure what they are yet. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Distance education in danger, says Chilliwack parent group

School district staff to address concerns at public meeting, changes could happen around province

There are a few things parents of kids in Fraser Valley Distance Education should know this week.

The first, is that they have a parent advisory council who is eager to connect with them.

The second, is that big changes are potentially coming to how — maybe even if — distance education is offered to all grades through School District 33 in the future.

Gail Tremeer, president of the FVDES’s PAC, said she only just found out recently that the distributed learning centre is in line for changes. And when she’s asked the district for clarification, she’s not gotten any clear answers. But she did get a promise of a parent information meeting, and that meeting is set for Feb. 2 at 9 a.m. at the Distance Education office.

But she can’t possibly get a hold of all the parents involved in FVDES; it’s not as if students are corralled in one classroom for a newsletter drop off. Some may not ever come to the school’s office, at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Others may have missed emails sent out.

Tremeer wants to make sure everyone is aware of impending changes, so they have a chance to ask questions and be a part of the process. Because decisions are being made soon, she said.

“As a PAC, we’re frustrated,” she said. Distributed learning models are at risk across the province because funding models have changed in recent years. When FVDES was created in 1990, it was one of nine in the province. Now there are more than 60, and local registrations are dropping. Because the government pays per full time enrolment (eight courses at once), it’s just not economically feasible to run.

“That’s how it survived before,” Tremeer says. “It survived as a business. But it’s not sustainable in the current model.”

She has heard rumours of losing Kindergarten to Grade 9 distributed learning altogether in this district, but has no confirmation. Many of those students have special needs, and it will mean a huge loss in services for the families at FVDES, Tremeer says.

“I would say FVDES runs a superb program for kids with special needs, and just picking up a distributed learning course from another learning centre is not that easy,” she says.

The PAC has sent their concerns to the school board, the district and the District PAC, and have heard back from the assistant superintendent, and DPAC president, Justine Hodge.

Anyone who like more on the FVDES PAC can email fvdespacpresident@gmail.com or join their Facebook page.

Just Posted

Donor of stolen Chief Dan George sculpture frustrated at middle school

Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how nobody missed it

Voters will have their say whether Mission becomes a city

Alternative approval process should begin at the end of August

Purple fentanyl among items seized in drug bust in Abbotsford

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Meet Mission’s first Grand Inner Guard

Kari Senko is only the second woman elected to the Elks of Canada, grand executive

VIDEO: Daughter of slain Abbotsford Police officer speaks at charity dinner

Fay Davidson, daughter of Const. John Davidson, speaks at memorial scholarship event

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant for felony rioting

Police identify 45-year-old victim in South Surrey stabbing

Delphin Paul Prestbakmo died at the scene, near 18 Avenue and 152 Street

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Puppy rescued from smoky South Surrey condo

Fire alarms brought firefighters to the Morgan Crossing residences around 7 p.m.

Most Read