This page is dedicated to keeping the public and stakeholders updated on the engagement and operational plans regarding the new KRSS.
SD 57 launches KRSS online engagement questionnaire
March 20, 2020
PRINCE GEORGE – School District No. 57 (Prince George) launched its online participation questionnaire today to involve the public in ensuring their concerns and aspirations are heard and considered regarding the KRSS naming decision on April 28. The purpose of the online engagement platform is to hear from the public in an accessible forum and receive ideas on how to preserve the past (Shas Ti) and present (Kelly Road) in its new school building, opening September 2020.
The engagement plan was released Thursday, March 12 and initially included a two-phased, information-gathering approach:
- An online and printed public participation questionnaire.
- Six facilitated face-to-face table-top discussions throughout Prince George, with locations at Kelly Road Secondary School, Hart Community Centre, Uda Dune Baiyoh (House of Ancestors), and Hart Community Centre.
However, due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus and the decision on March 17 by the Ministry of Education to close all B.C. schools indefinitely, School District 57 is adhering to restrictions laid out by the provincial health authority regarding social distancing and has moved all engagement opportunities online.
"Like so many other events and initiatives affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we were very disappointed to have to move away from the in-person public participation sessions," said Tim Bennett, Chair, SD 57 Board of Education. "We feel strongly that a sharing of experiences would have helped the community move forward together. However, we're making the best of the current situation to enable us to continue. We are sincere in listening and considering the public's input."
The questionnaire is focused on experience-sharing and idea-generation. It will run from March 20 to April 17 and cannot be delayed due to building construction timelines. Content will be reviewed, presented and shared publicly as recommendations to School District 57 Board Trustees.
"What we saw from the very beginning of this process, especially from our classroom visits with students, was a real maturity in appreciating both histories, and some incredible ideas for how this could be included in the new building," said Superintendent Anita Richardson. "We look forward to reviewing everyone's input through the online questionnaire."
The engagement plan was guided by the Engagement Process Working Group – a collaborative advisory group with representatives from: KRSS students, KRSS staff, Lheidli T'enneh Elders, Lheidli T'enneh staff, CUPE, PGDTA, KRSS PAC, KRSS Alumni, School District 57 Board, School District 57 Office of the Superintendent.
All feedback from the questionnaire will be shared with School District 57 Board Trustees to support their informed decision at the public meeting on April 28, 2020.
KRSS engagement plan adjusted due to COVID-19
March 13, 2020
PRINCE GEORGE – Given the changing global circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the World Health Organization's COVID-19 pandemic declaration and the increasing risks of transmission at public gatherings, School District No. 57 is making adjustments to its KRSS school naming public engagement plan: specifically the in-person public participation sessions.
"We believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to support the Provincial Health Officer's strategy of social distancing, and prioritizing the health and well-being of our students, staff and public," says Tim Bennett, Chair of the Board of Education.
The deadline for public engagement to provide a recommendation to the Board will still be April 17, 2020 due to construction constraints. A revised engagement plan will be based on these needs. It will be an extension of the questionnaire, and available primarily online and through paper submissions for those whose online access is limited. Student engagement sessions will continue to go ahead until further notice.
"Our commitment to public engagement – while it may look different than what we originally proposed and released yesterday – is still a priority," says Bennett.
The questionnaire will be available publicly on March 20, 2020, as planned.
Continued updates will be available on the SD57 website: www.sd57.bc.ca.
Dates set for public engagement sessions
March 12, 2020
PRINCE GEORGE – The Board of Education for School District No. 57 (Prince George) is committed to working with the public throughout a process of engagement to inform its upcoming decision on how to incorporate Shas Ti into the new school building in the Hart area of Prince George. This comes as a result of the Board approving a motion at its Regular Public Meeting of Feb. 25, 2020 to engage in a process to rename Kelly Road Secondary School.
The Board will collect information on how to honour and preserve the ancient history of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation as well as recognize and preserve the more modern history of Kelly Road Secondary School. Information will be formally collected through a questionnaire and a series of face-to-face engagement sessions.
Dates and locations of public engagement sessions are as follows:
- April 1 – Hart Community (Location TBD)
- April 5 – Hart Community (Location TBD)
- April 6 – Hart Community (Location TBD)
- April 15 – House of Ancestors
Please note, due to public health concerns about COVID-19, dates and locations of these sessions are tentative.
“We will work with you to ensure that your concerns and aspirations are heard and considered in determining how to preserve the past and present in the new school building,” said Board Chair Tim Bennett. “We will issue ongoing updates on the process and participation opportunities and also provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision when it is made.”
The Board of Education will make the final decision regarding the naming of the new school building, under construction on a site adjacent to the current Kelly Road Secondary School, on April 28, 2020.
The public engagement process getting underway was developed by the Engagement Process Working Group over a series of four meetings and has been designed to gather purposeful feedback from the public.
Superintendent Anita Richardson was impressed by the dedication and input of the members making up the working group.
“The working group had a complex job to complete in a short period of time,” Richardson said. “Every individual represented their organization or group with integrity and a positive mindset to create a fair, thorough and mindful process.”
Updates will be available on the School District No. 57 website (sd57.bc.ca), SD 57 social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) and through a subscription-based newsletter individuals can opt to receive by making a request through a link on the School District No. 57 website.
Engagement Process Working Group holding meeting to approve plan
March 9, 2020
PRINCE GEORGE – Please see below for the latest update regarding Kelly Road Secondary School renaming engagement progress.
- Superintendent Anita Richardson, Deputy Superintendent Cindy Heitman and Assistant Superintendent Lee Karpenko visited classrooms at Kelly Road Secondary School and met with students and staff.
- Two meetings were held with the newly-formed Engagement Process Working Group to define what engagement will look like within the community, determine timelines and how to communicate with the community to ensure attendance at the sessions.
- SD 57 staff continued to directly respond to phone calls and to emails that have been received through firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Engagement Process Working Group is meeting on Monday, March 9 to approve the engagement plan for community input and participation.
- Classroom visits at Kelly Road Secondary School will continue.
- A public announcement of key dates, deadlines and venues for public participation in the engagement process will be made. Updates to the KRSS Engagement webpage (https://www.sd57.bc.ca/Pages/KRSS-Engagement-Updates.aspx#/) and to Questions and Answers will continue, as will direct responses to phone calls and emails.
SD 57 brings Engagement Process Working Group together
March 3, 2020
PRINCE GEORGE – School District 57 Board Trustees and administrative staff at the Board of Education have invited members of community to form an Engagement Process Working Group.
The role of the working group will help shape the engagement plan for the public regarding how to include the extended history of Shas Ti with the more recent history of Kelly Road Secondary School.
The work will be guided by the following Principles of Reconciliation in the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's Calls to Action:
(3) Reconciliation is a process of healing relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms.
(5) Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
The following definition of reconciliation will be used as a guide:
- the restoration of friendly relations
- the action of making one view or belief compatible with another
"In this case, the definition of reconciliation couldn't be more relevant," says Tim Bennett, Chair, Board of Education School District 57. "We're asking this working group to support the District in restoring friendly relations and making feelings and beliefs compatible with one another through the upcoming engagement process."
The working group will represent and be selected by various community members to ensure diversity and inclusion. They will share a responsibility to shape and guide School District 57's proposed engagement plan with input, ideas and feedback from their stakeholder groups. The result will be a plan that provides opportunity for public participation and purposeful feedback and input on elements of the new school project.
Members will include:
- KRSS Student (2)
- KRSS Teacher Representative
- KRSS Support Staff Representative
- KRSS Principal or Vice Principal
- Lheidli T'enneh Councillor
- Lheidli T'enneh Elder
- SD57 Trustee Representative
- SD57 Superintendent
- KRSS Parent Advisory Council Representative
- Hart Community Association Representative
- KRSS Alumni Representative
"The guiding question for the group and the participating public will be, going forward: How do we honour the inclusive history of this new school and the land it resides on?" says Anita Richardson, Superintendent. "This will ensure an extension of the history, not an omission of either."
Meetings began this week, and elements of the plan will be shared with the public before spring break.
Board, administrators to spend week listening to KRSS students and staff
March 2, 2020
Board Trustees and administrative staff at the Board of Education, School District 57 spent the past weekend reviewing and replying to all forms of feedback they received after last week's motion was carried to engage in a process to rename the newly constructed Kelly Road Secondary School.
"The Board and administrative staff are committed to reading and responding to every call and email, and completed this over the weekend," said Tim Bennett, Board Chair. "We were informed by the comments, many of which came from students who were unhappy about the process to date, but already had creative suggestions for moving forward together."
This week, the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent will be joining school staff in classroom visits at Kelly Road Secondary School. The purpose of the visits is to listen to students, acknowledge their voice and agency in the situation and upcoming participatory process.
"Last week, some students felt compelled to choose protest to voice their feelings. We feel strongly that we need to give all students the ability to share their thoughts and feelings while we are here to listen. We will do that be making ourselves available to them in their classrooms," says Anita Richardson, Superintendent.
The Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent will also be participating in a staff meeting for KRSS teachers this week where staff will be able to ask questions and understand their role in the process moving forward.
"For staff at Kelly Road, this motion was also a surprise. We've been told that the ambiguity of the motion has been the most difficult for people, because they are looking to see how they can engage in the process of providing feedback," says Richardson. "We want to ensure they also feel supported and heard throughout this process. That's why we're working quickly to ensure purposeful opportunities are provided for students, staff, alumni and the public to participate."
To keep up with public inquiry, the School District has set up a feedback email: email@example.com. More details on the engagement process and opportunities for participation will be announced before spring break.