This page is dedicated to keeping the public and stakeholders updated on the engagement and operational plans regarding the new KRSS.
Kelly Road Secondary School to Adopt Dual Name
April 29, 2020
Last evening, after approximately three-and-a-half hours of debate and discussion, the Board of Education for School District No. 57 came to a decision regarding the naming of the new school building replacing the current Kelly Road Secondary School.
The new school will have the dual name of Kelly Road Secondary School and Shas ti Secondary School.
Four Trustees voted in favour of the dual name motion and three voted against it. Trustees who supported the motion highlighted the importance of acknowledging both histories and creating an inclusive environment in the new school while those not in favour indicated they felt the dual name wasn't commitment enough to the tenants of reconciliation.
"After a great deal of debate and discussion, the Board is confident that this is the right direction to pursue for the new school," said spokesperson and Board Chair, Tim Bennett. "We've heard from community members and we've carefully considered the shared feedback in coming to our decision. We look forward to seeing how both histories will be represented in the new building, from the name, to the building, to the surrounding grounds sharing inclusive histories and proudly integrating both into the decision.
"Tonight's decision has come after three hours of respectful debate, eight weeks of communication, community engagement and public participation efforts by the school district," Bennett added. "We want all community members to know that we heard your feedback, listened to both criticism and support and tried to design an engagement process under some of the most challenging circumstances, while still respecting the construction timelines of the project."
The most encouraging takeaway from questionnaire research for Board Trustees came from the 85 per cent of respondents who believe that both histories/stories can and should be acknowledged together in the spirit of reconciliation.
"When you're making a decision that affects this many people, we can expect that there will be criticism for each of the motions that were brought forward regarding this process, including the final decision," said Bennett. "However, now that the decision has been made, we need to begin to look forward to this incredible new educational facility and the future it holds for the next generation of students in Prince George. We have some healing to do as a community, and we will do so as we prepare for the new school."
Superintendent Anita Richardson agreed, saying it is now senior administration's work to implement the Board's decision in collaboration with students, stakeholders and community partners.
"We're excited to move forward with a clear direction and a positive and inclusive atmosphere that all students and community members can feel represented by as we move towards a future together in the new school," she said.
- On March 17, 2017, the Province of British Columbia and School District No. 57 (SD 57) announced an investment of $44.3 million to replace the 56-year-old Kelly Road Secondary School. The new school – built to L.E.E.D. gold equivalency – opens in September of 2020 and will accommodate 900 students.
- In July of 2017, SD 57 and the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation announced a five-year partnership and Local Education Agreement to support the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee and the 30 per cent of students in the district who identify as Indigenous.
- On Nov. 29, 2019, the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation hosted the first Balhats (Potlatch) in its territory in 73 years. The Balhats celebrated the partnership between the Lheidli T'enneh and SD 57. In recognition of the partnership, Lheidli T'enneh flags and plaques were presented to SD 57 principals and vice principals and will be displayed in every SD 57 school in Lheidli T'enneh territory.
- At the SD 57 Board of Education Regular Public Meeting on Feb. 25, 2020, Dayi (Chief) Clayton Pountney and Lheidli T'enneh Elders Kenora Stewart and Clayton Quaw provided an overview of the history of the area now known as the Hart Highway and shared a story with the Board about the grizzly trail, which in Dakelh is Shas ti. The Elders encouraged the gradual incorporation of Shas ti into the new school building.
- At the Feb. 25, 2020 meeting, Board of Education Trustee Trent Derrick provided a verbal recommendation and rationale for a proposed name change for Kelly Road Secondary School. It was moved and seconded that the Board engage in the process to rename the new Kelly Road Secondary School building Shas ti. Trustees carried the motion unanimously, which was met by surprise, frustration, protest and support within the community of Prince George and elsewhere.
- On Feb. 26, 2020, SD 57 Board Chair Tim Bennett and senior administration publicly acknowledged the community reaction and enacted a communications and engagement plan to bring the community together on the divisive issue and hear constructive feedback on the motion to engage in the process to rename the new KRSS building Shas ti.
- SD 57 committed to working directly with the public through the engagement process. The goal of the process was to ensure that public concerns and aspirations were directly reflected in determining how to preserve the past (Shas ti) and present (Kelly Road) in the new school building.
- An advisory group formed by representatives of KRSS (students, staff, alumni, PAC), Lheidli T'enneh (Elders, Councilors) and SD 57 (Board Trustees, senior administration, PGDTA, CUPE) met four times over a two-week period to guide the engagement plan and determine the content of an online questionnaire.
- Six facilitated in-person engagement sessions were planned for the time period of April 1-17, 2020.
- In-person engagement sessions were subsequently cancelled as a COVID-19 public health and safety measure.
- Online questionnaire participation was extended. Participation dates went from March 20 to April 17, 2020. The questionnaire included a print-and-mail-in option. Dedicated phone lines were established as a third participation option.
- The questionnaire drew 2,707 responses. Board Trustees used information and data from the questionnaire to inform their final decision on the naming of the new school building at the April 28, 2020 Regular Public Meeting.
Next Steps for KRSS Naming Decision
April 23, 2020
Board of Education Trustees for School District No. 57 (Prince George) are in the process of reviewing data and feedback from Wednesday night's presentation of a summary report of the KRSS Engagement Questionnaire.
"All Trustees were thrilled at the public participation numbers and value the time that people took to share with us," said Board Chair Tim Bennett. "We have a lot of data and feedback to review and commit to doing so."
The sole purpose of Wednesday night's forum, which was open to the public via online streaming, was the presentation of the KRSS Engagement Questionnaire data to Board Trustees. The public participation questionnaire launched on March 20 and closed on April 17, 2020. Within the four-week period, a total of 2,707 people responded to the questionnaire online, by phone and through mail.
Information was collected from the snowball/convenience sample to replace the in-person, public participation meetings and provide a forum for people who wished to share their feelings and ideas about KRSS renaming process. The data represents the 2,707 people who chose to participate in the questionnaire, it is not a randomized sample of the 74,000 people living in Prince George.
From the data:
- 68% of respondents were in favour of keeping the name KRSS
- 85.5% of respondents felt that both histories (Shas Ti and Kelly Road) can and should be represented
- Representation suggested changing the mascot, room namings, art installations, educational displays, student awards
- Respondents ranged in age from u12 to 75+ years and included local, provincial, national and international participants
Trustees will continue their evaluation of the summary report and verbatim responses in preparation for the Board of Education Regular Public Meeting on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, at which time they will make a final decision regarding the name of the new school building that replaces Kelly Road Secondary School in September 2020.
Next Steps & Key Dates
Friday, April 24 – 12 noon
- Trustees who wish to bring forward a motion based on the questionnaire data will provide notice of motion in the April 28 Regular Public Board Book, posted on the School District No. 57 website (sd57.bc.ca) by the end of the day on Friday, April 24, 2020.
Monday, April 27 – 5 p.m.
- Individuals who would like to address the Board of Education during the public input portion of the April 28 meeting can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2020.
Tuesday, April 28 – 6:00 p.m.
- As per district policy, the public and input period is 30 minutes at the start of the meeting, with each person being limited to five minutes, including partners. Feedback received in accordance with the above process will be read to Board Trustees by members of School District No. 57's senior administration. The number of emails relayed to Trustees will depend on their length and the time available. Some emails may be grouped together by theme. Duplicate emails from the same sender will not be read
- At the meeting, motions will be debated and voted upon. The meeting will be livestreamed at www.sd57.bc.ca.
The Executive Summary and verbatim qualitative responses to open-ended questions of the KRSS public engagement questionnaire that were presented to Trustees and the public at the April 22nd SD57 Forum are posted below.
The Board of Education will debate and make a final decision regarding the name of the new school building at its Regular Public Meeting on April 28, 2020.
Share your connection to the legacy of Kelly Road School and/or the history of Shas Ti?
After reading the histories of both Kelly Road School and Shas Ti, is there a way that both can be acknowledged in the spirit of reconciliation? Why or Why Not?
SD57 is committed to reconciliation through its Local Education Agreement in 2017 and the Balhats on November 29, 2019. How would incorporating Shas Ti into the new school name and/or building, support this commitment? What other ways can SD57 demonstrate their commitment?
How can this inclusive history of Lheidli T'enneh and the history of Kelly Road be displayed within the new school building?
From an educational perspective, how does the name of a school impact student learning?
My suggested name for the new school building is?
I suggest this name because...
KRSS Engagement Questionnaire now closed
April 17, 2020
The questionnaire phase of the KRSS School Naming Public Engagement Process is now complete. School District No. 57 (Prince George) would like to thank everyone who filled out the questionnaire between March 20 and April 17, 2020, either online, in a printable format or via the dedicated phone lines that were made available.
The responses collected will now be analyzed and will be presented in an executive summary to the Board of Education during a forum on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The executive summary will include aggregate quantitative data on closed questions and verbatim qualitative responses to open-ended questions.
The forum will start at 6 p.m. and can be viewed by the public via livestream on the school district's website (sd57.bc.ca). The information will help the Board of Education make an informed decision about the name of the new school building at its Regular Public Meeting on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
SD 57 Trustees to meet to receive engagement data
April 15, 2020
On April 22, 2020, School District No. 57 Trustees will hold a forum to receive the summary report of the public’s feedback and ideas regarding the KRSS naming decision for the new school building.
The forum will take place online (6 p.m. start) and can be viewed by the public via livestream on the school district’s website. Engagement data collected from the public between March 20 and April 17, 2020 via a public engagement questionnaire which was available online, through printed copy and phone-in response will be shared in an executive summary with Trustees. The information will be received at the meeting, and then published on the School District 57 website (www.sd57.bc.ca) for public review. It will include an executive summary, aggregate quantitative data on closed questions, and verbatim qualitative responses from the public’s open-ended question responses.
“We appreciate that this is a highly anticipated stage in the engagement process,” says Tim Bennett, Chair of the Board. “It is for Board Trustees, as well. We have seen and received so much direct feedback, from public protest to heartfelt emails, and we are eager to see some of the trends and themes in the data from this questionnaire.”
This is the last week for the public to provide purposeful input into the School District No. 57’s participation questionnaire, launched to involve the public in ensuring their concerns and ideas are considered regarding the KRSS naming decision on April 28, 2020.
The online, printed copy and phone-in response engagement platform was developed 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 the new building, opening September 2020. To date, more than 2,200 responses have been collected from the questionnaire.
“It has been a challenging engagement process, largely due to circumstances outside of our control, and we anticipate that this decision will help us move forward together,” says Bennett. “Students, staff and the community will have a new state-of-the-art learning facility by September 2020, and it’s time to embrace the collective opportunities ahead of us.”
A final decision regarding the new school building name will be made by the Board of Education at the regular public board meeting on April 28, 2020.
SD 57 opening call-in lines for KRSS engagement questionnaire
April 6, 2020
It has been two weeks since School District No. 57’s (SD 57) participation questionnaire launched to involve the public in ensuring their concerns and ideas are 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 the new school building, opening September 2020.
To date, almost 1,700 people have completed the 12-minute questionnaire both online and through a downloadable, mail-in option. Now, School District No. 57 wants to expand the opportunities to complete the form through a call-in service for those who may not have access to an online format.
“The school district is dedicated to making the KRSS engagement process as transparent and accessible as possible, given these very challenging circumstances,” says Tim Bennett, SD 57 Board Chair. “We have two weeks left to hear from the public, and we would like to ensure we hear from as many interested parties as possible.”
SD 57 has set up two dedicated phone lines to receive feedback while employees guide respondents through the questions and record the feedback into the online form. The numbers are: 250-552-0993 and 250-640-0605 and are available on working days from April 6-17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Only those who have not yet completed the questionnaire are invited to submit their input this way. The online and mail-in methods for submission are also still available.
School District No. 57’s initial KRSS engagement plan included both an online public participation questionnaire, and six facilitated face-to-face table-top discussions throughout Prince George.
However, due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus and the decision on March 17 by the Ministry of Education to indefinitely close all B.C. schools to in-person instruction, School District 57 adhered to restrictions laid out by the provincial health authority regarding physical distancing and moved all engagement opportunities online.
The questionnaire is focused on experience-sharing and idea-generation. It will close on April 17, 2020 and cannot be delayed due to building construction timelines. 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.
To complete the questionnaire online, please click here.
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 email@example.com.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on the engagement process and opportunities for participation will be announced before spring break.