Gail Tremeer, president of the Fraser Valley Distance Education School’s Parent Advisory Council, is letting parents know that changes are on the horizon for the distance learning program. She just isn’t sure what they are yet. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Distance education in danger, says Chilliwack parent group

School district staff to address concerns at public meeting, changes could happen around province

There are a few things parents of kids in Fraser Valley Distance Education should know this week.

The first, is that they have a parent advisory council who is eager to connect with them.

The second, is that big changes are potentially coming to how — maybe even if — distance education is offered to all grades through School District 33 in the future.

Gail Tremeer, president of the FVDES’s PAC, said she only just found out recently that the distributed learning centre is in line for changes. And when she’s asked the district for clarification, she’s not gotten any clear answers. But she did get a promise of a parent information meeting, and that meeting is set for Feb. 2 at 9 a.m. at the Distance Education office.

But she can’t possibly get a hold of all the parents involved in FVDES; it’s not as if students are corralled in one classroom for a newsletter drop off. Some may not ever come to the school’s office, at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Others may have missed emails sent out.

Tremeer wants to make sure everyone is aware of impending changes, so they have a chance to ask questions and be a part of the process. Because decisions are being made soon, she said.

“As a PAC, we’re frustrated,” she said. Distributed learning models are at risk across the province because funding models have changed in recent years. When FVDES was created in 1990, it was one of nine in the province. Now there are more than 60, and local registrations are dropping. Because the government pays per full time enrolment (eight courses at once), it’s just not economically feasible to run.

“That’s how it survived before,” Tremeer says. “It survived as a business. But it’s not sustainable in the current model.”

She has heard rumours of losing Kindergarten to Grade 9 distributed learning altogether in this district, but has no confirmation. Many of those students have special needs, and it will mean a huge loss in services for the families at FVDES, Tremeer says.

“I would say FVDES runs a superb program for kids with special needs, and just picking up a distributed learning course from another learning centre is not that easy,” she says.

The PAC has sent their concerns to the school board, the district and the District PAC, and have heard back from the assistant superintendent, and DPAC president, Justine Hodge.

Anyone who like more on the FVDES PAC can email fvdespacpresident@gmail.com or join their Facebook page.

Just Posted

Evacuation alert issued for Kamp Road properties as Mount Hicks fire moves west

An evacuation alert has been issued for all properties on Kamp Road,… Continue reading

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

Documentary filmed in Chilliwack nominated in the ‘Wildlife Oscars’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

UPDATED: Mother charged in death of 7-year-old daughter makes first court appearance

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

More bus trips coming to Metro Vancouver this fall

TransLink touts improvements when fall service changes take effect Sept. 34

Bear kills off-leash dog in North Vancouver park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Police ID Surrey man killed in fight at McDonald’s

Investigators ask anyone who knew Lakhwinder Singh Bal to speak with police, to help determine timeline ahead of ‘homicide’

Most Read