The Richmond School Board could follow Vancouver’s lead in stopping the school closure process.
Earlier this month, the VSB voted to suspend the closure process, and now Richmond Trustees will vote to scrap it all together.
School Board Chair Debbie Tablotney says there’s been mounting pressure from parents over the last 15 months to halt the process of closing schools.
She says when parents decided to suspend their process, parents pushed harder.
“We were in the middle of meeting with our parents, special meetings with each school that was up for closure that was recommended for closure. Then Vancouver decided to suspend their process, and parents pointed to that.”
Three Schools are on the chopping block: Daniel Woodward, McKay, and Alfred B. Dixon.
Late last month, the province lifted its requirement that B.C. schools attain 95% capacity utilization in order to qualify for seismic upgrading funding.
Kim Nowitsky of Richmond Schools Stand United, a group of parents fighting to keep schools open, says parents thank the Vancouver School for fuelling the push.
“Absolutely give credit to Vancouver for not making the schools go through the painful process of consultations. We had an original list of 16 schools in Richmond that were on the list and you could imagine how many parents and kids were panicked that their school might close.”
During consultation’s parents raised two key issues: closing schools would mean students moving into portables, and students who walk to school would have to cross main arterial roads and train tracks.
Trustees will vote on Tuesday.