Whitney Dzamka was 24th in line to register two of her three children

Whitney Dzamka was 24th in line to register two of her three children

Pre-reg starts for new program

First parents in line arrived just after 3 a.m. Tuesday to ensure their children’s spot in proposed school

Pre-registration started Tuesday morning for Mission’s proposed public traditional school, and some parents sacrificed hours of sleep to ensure their children would be included if the academy gets approved.

Mission parent Kelly Dalzell was the first in line at the school board administration office on Fourth Avenue, and said she arrived shortly after 3 a.m.

“I wanted to make sure my kids get into a traditional school,” she said, citing the emphasis on academics and structure were what drew her to the idea.

As of The Record’s press deadline, Mission Public Schools’ website said 69 students have been registered for the kindergarten to Grade 4 academy, but that out of those, there are only three new registrations.

The board of trustees has said a minimum of 75 new students — those who aren’t already registered in the school district — must be signed up to make the program financially feasible.

Pre-registrations are ongoing until April 1.

If that minimum is reached, board chair Edie Heinrichs said there is already a sufficient number of students for the 2014 kindergarten class.

A public information meeting held March 11 at Fraserview Elementary School drew about 150 people, reported superintendent Bill Fletcher at Tuesday night’s regular board of trustees’ meeting, which happened at Silverdale Elementary School.

The Monday meeting was held after a previous one Feb. 26 where at its conclusion a group of parents gathered and offered to help the board spread the word about the traditional academy to aid in drumming up new registrants.

Responding to a parent’s concern, board vice-chair Jim Taylor said that there is no intention “to drain the system” to fill a traditional school, and also that if the new program proceeds, it won’t immediately be imbued with a raft of new learning materials that other schools have been requesting, such as new books and smart boards. The school’s PAC, like every other, would likely fundraise for the items they want to see in their classrooms.

Taylor added that the impetus for the traditional school came after hearing about the level of dissatisfaction some parents have with what Mission Public Schools offers its students, and ministry of education numbers that show 578 kindergarten to Grade 12 students from Mission leave the district daily to attend independent schools.

For more information visit mpsd.ca.