Chilliwack – Fraser Valley families are being encouraged to attend an open house on Thursday, January 26, 2017, to share their ideas on how to transform rural education in British Columbia.
Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Education Linda Larson and Ministry of Education staff are hosting the event at the Chilliwack Secondary school Neighbourhood Learning Centre (46361 Yale Rd., Chilliwack) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Here, interested British Columbians and organizations can express their thoughts on rural education, sharing stories around the importance of rural schools and rural educational programs in a casual setting. Participants will engage in a more formal facilitated discussion for the last hour of the meeting.
This open house is part of the public engagement process to help develop a rural education strategy by the summer of 2017.
The public can also comment on the draft discussion paper summarizing what was heard from the first phase of rural education engagement, which included an online survey and discussion forum at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/ruraleducation
More than 100 British Columbians shared their thoughts during the initial engagement through the survey, and over 250 comments were made on the rural education blog.
All feedback received will help government shape a final report on an integrated-rural education strategy, including recommendations for the future. The strategy will aim to find long-term solutions for the unique challenges facing rural school districts and communities, including looking at the important social, cultural, and economic roles that schools play for small communities.
In British Columbia, approximately 32% of the students in the K-12 education system attend schools located outside of the greater Victoria, Lower Mainland and Kelowna areas – many in very small communities that use school facilities as a hub for community activities.
The B.C. government is also seeking feedback from British Columbians throughout the province to better understand how parents want to be informed of their student’s success from kindergarten to Grade 9. Participate in this engagement by visiting: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/yourkidsprogress