School board now focused on Durieu transition plan

Transition planning began nearly immediately following last Tuesday’s decision by the school board to close Durieu elementary.The doors will shut at the small rural school, located northeast of Mission off Sylvester Road, by the end of June, but before then, Mission Public Schools District (MPSD) has a roadmap to make the transition “seemless” for students, staff and parents, said administrators.All 85 Durieu students now fall in the Hatzic elementary catchment area, and principals from both schools will begin meeting on a weekly basis starting this week, said Brenda Lightburn, deputy superintendent.The principals will jointly review how to move resources and personnel, and deal with any other problems that arise, she said.A letter was mailed out to parents last Wednesday which explained the decision to close Durieu, identified the new home school, introduced the new principal, assured parents records would automatically be transferred to Hatzic, and detailed how parents could apply for their children to go to another school if they so chose.Many letters didn’t arrive until Friday, said Durieu Parent Advisory Council vice-chair Tara-Lea Hehn, adding several parents are feeling left in the dark.“Everyone’s been in an uproar,” said Hehn. “Parents are still angry and confused. There was no damage control. There were kids with tears in their eyes the next day.”Little information has made it to students or parents, she charged. Many parents assumed they would hear from the school board last Wednesday, the day after trustees’ decision, which also included a vote to keep Deroche elementary open.But this delay is on purpose, said Graham Black, director of instruction for planning and policy with MPSD.“[The school community] has gone through a traumatic event,” he said. Administrators want to respect the turmoil the decision has caused and are working more “behind the scenes” at this point.“We still have a functioning school in Durieu. We want to make sure all activities — be it social, academic or athletic — continue on. We don’t want to disrupt everyone,” Black said.At Durieu, which became a traditional school in 2005, the dress code has been dropped.“The overall consensus is that we needed a transition time,” said Hehn. Parents are further upset by the fact they now need to spend hundreds of dollars on school clothes, and in Hehn’s case, an additional $420 annually for busing for her three children.

Just Posted

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read