'How full is too full?'; SD73 DPAC will talk capital with ministry

DPAC meeting with ministry

SD73's District Parent Advisory Council says it will be meeting with the Ministry of Education's capital management branch to discus the district's overcrowded schools.

“We're going to talk about capacity issues,” SD73 DPAC chair Chris Ponti told Castanet Kamloops.

“I want a definition of how full is too full.”

According to Ponti, DPAC had been trying to schedule a meeting with the minster of Education and Child Care, Jennifer Whiteside, but see the meeting with the capital management branch is a good start for getting their needs met.

"We are disappointed that after two years the minister has still not agreed to meet with us and answer our questions. We have offered to travel to New West where she lives or to Victoria," Ponti said.

"We even offered to host her here and take her on a tour of our district — but we continue to be snubbed."

In a perfect world, Ponti said, DPAC would walk away from a meeting with Whiteside with SD73’s Top 5 capital project plans approved and funded by the ministry in a timely manner.

“I know [that's] not realistic," he said.

"We want the ministry to agree to fund our Top 5 capital plan priorities in the next five years."

Ponti said he knows that might be a stretch, especially without Whiteside at the table.

The Top 5 capital priorities for SD73 include three elementary school projects and a new secondary school in Aberdeen, as well as a new school in Sun Peaks.

The local DPAC is also looking for a commitment from the ministry to participate in an education forum similar to the Surrey Summit — a meeting involving school district, municipal and provincial officials.

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