With files from Niamh Anderson
Over two dozen high school students in Nelson aren’t in class yet as the District works to find them a spot.
The Kootenay Lake School District says the students were late in registering and the available spaces were filled with local and international students who got their applications in before the deadline earlier this year.
Local mother pens viral facebook post
Nelson mom Camara Cassin’s daughter is one of the students on the waiting list.
In a facebook post that has been shared over 3,000 times, Cassin wrote that she’s frustrated that her daughter has spent months on the waiting list, while she’s been unable to confirm a spot for her with the school district.
In the post, she shared her concern that 50 international students were attending the school this year, while local students were left with uncertainty.
“I love diversity. But it makes sense that if the district is low on funds they would see the international students as a way to cash in. Meanwhile there are more than 15 local kids on the wait-list. I’ve spoken with many frazzled parents today. This is definitely a provincial level problem caused by cuts to education.”
Assessing late applications through the first week of class
Superintendent of Schools Jeff Jones says a resolution should be found soon.
“The issue here is that the parent made application late and would have normally been informed they need to wait at least until the end of the first week of school to determine how we will accommodate their child.”
Jones says the students left out in the cold will be registered and in class likely before the end of the week.
“I think we have processes and policies in place, the international students registered before the deadline or by the deadline and we did not allocate resources that would normally be going to support our domestic students.”
International students not favoured over domestic, says Education Ministry
Meanwhile, the Education Ministry has denied favouring international students over local pupils.
Instead, a spokesperson says the delays stem from the Cassin family missing the application deadline.
“It is entirely wrong to suggest any international students are displacing local students.”
Mother admits to missing registration deadline
Camara Cassin admits she missed the deadline to register her child, but accuses the District of not doing enough to make the deadline clear.
“Here’s the thing, he is right I was late registering; however, they implemented that deadline and didn’t really tell anyone about it like us home-schoolers and others. More than 140 of us missed the deadline which tells you they did not make it clear that there was a deadline in the first place.”
The school district deadline was March 31st. Cassin says she submitted her application in April.
She was speaking on CKNW’s Steele and Drex.
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