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.