Sports academy fees are beginning to collide with the costs to put on these programs for Central Okanagan students.
The Central Okanagan Board of Education approved fee increases for the golf academy offered by Mount Boucherie Secondary and hockey academy fees for the West Kelowna high school along with Ecole KLO Middle and Canyon Falls Middle, Ecole Okanagan Mission Secondary and Rutland Senior Secondary schools.
The Mount Boucherie golf academy fees increased from a range of $150-$375 to a fixed fee of $465 with a golf membership or $545 without a membership, while the hockey academy fees will go up from $850 to $965.
Other hockey academy fee changes were from $1,100 to $1,300 (Canyon Falls Middle, KLO Middle and OKM); and from $1,000 to $1,170 for RSS.
Speaking to the issue at the board of education meeting Wednesday, trustee Julia Fraser voiced caution about sports academy fees becoming prohibitive for some students to afford.
Trustee Chantelle Desrosiers said the fee changes provide a clearer picture to students and parents of the cost of what they are signing up for.
The board was also told parents can spread the fees over the course of the year to avoid facing one lump sum payment.
Terry-Lee Beaudry, Central Okanagan Public Schools deputy superintendent, added the board can expect more applications for academy program fee increases leading into the next school year.
“The actual cost of putting on these programs has begun to exceed what the original academy fees were being charged,” Beaudry said.
She noted fee increases are vetted by school trustees and the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council prior to being approved.
The 6th annual Proud For Prom took place on Feb. 25 in the gym of the Hollywood Road Education Centre.
School district educator Julie Loveridge-Marks created the event after hearing about students and the hardships many faced to attend prom and graduation activities.
Recognizing a need for equitable access, Loveridge-Marks and a team of volunteers come together each year to ensure all students have an outfit to wear to prom at no cost to them.
Trustee Valene Johnson, who served as a volunteer for the event, said just over 100 students participated this year, fitted for dresses, full suits, shoes and other accessories which were donated.
Hair, makeup and photography services were also provided.
“When students arrived, they connected with a volunteer who helped them to find the perfect outfit. If alternations were needed, there were volunteers ready with sewing machines to create the perfect fit,” Johnson said.
The trustee applauded the efforts of Loveridge-Marks and her volunteer supporters to give students an opportunity they might not otherwise have to afford to attend grad and prom activities, what she called one of the most significant events of a high school student’s life up to that point.
Sig Ottenbreit was a long-time teacher in the school district who started a collection of historical school items and created a heritage classroom at Central School.
Over the years, he offered field trip opportunities to elementary students to the heritage room, for them to learn something about what it was like to attend school long before they were born.
Ottenbreit died last September, and the archive he created became the responsibility of the Central Okanagan Retired Teachers Association (CORTA).
With the support of the Ottenbreit family, school trustee Valene Johnson says CORTA has reached out to the local museum to ensure the most important pieces of the collection are preserved.
Johnson said to honour Ottenbreit’s memory and dedication to public education, CORTA hopes to host a garage/yard sale for the remaining items this spring.
“This will present an opportunity to transform the current heritage classroom into a much-needed Learning Commons for Central School,” Johnson said.
“The funds raised from the sale will be contributed to the creation of ‘Sig’s Corner’ in the Learning Commons to commemorate the incredible legacy Sig had in our district.”
School trustees were given an update on student pedestrian safety initiatives by Dan Glasscock, regional traffic safety officer, and Rick Taylor, school district health and safety manager.
Glasscock works in collaboration with Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country and West Kelowna to develop safe route options for students to make their way to and from school.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan stepped up with funding to produce an educational video on traffic safety for students. The video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/REuxjNyav6E.
Glasscock says the video, which was shown to school trustees, will provide a relatable teaching tool for him when he visits schools, particularly students in Grade 2-3 age range, to promote pedestrian safety.
“The video has been well received so far by those students who have seen it. I am pretty happy with how it turned out,” Glasscock said.
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