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

ALC decision protects Agassiz farmland

Agricultural land advocate hopes decision will set precedent

UPDATE: 10-20 cm of snow expected Friday in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning in effect from North Shore mountains out to Hope

Controversial bylaw tabled, Kent’s kiosk to be ‘beautified’

The lastest from the District of Kent council

Chilliwack-Kent MLA decries ‘classic, big tax-and-spend’ NDP budget

Laurie Throness says budget relies on strong economy but contains no ideas to help it grow

Driver of vehicle down 90-foot embankment rescued on Highway 5 near Hope

Rope rescue conducted on mutual-aid call with Chilliwack SAR, Hope SAR and Agassiz fire department

The 2018 B.C. Games wrap up in Kamloops

The B.C. Winter Games comes to a close after a weekend of fun and excitment

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. boosts support for former youth in government care

More support coming for rent, child care and health care while they go back to school

Concert-goers unfazed by Hedley sexual misconduct allegations

Frontman Jacob Hoggard thanked fans from the ‘bottom of our hearts’ at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre

Control, agility and grace take gymnastics stage at the B.C. Games

Athletes often made the sport seem effortless during the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Original B.C. Games participant-turned-sensei officiating 39 years later

Langley judo sensei was a competitor at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games 40 years ago

Snowfall warning, travel advisory in effect for Coquihalla

Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt to receive 10 to 20 cm of snow Sunday

Police watchdog probes B.C. man’s taser death in alleged parental child abduction

Independent Investigations Office called in after one male dies

PHOTOS: Harnessing diverse abilities on the court at the B.C. Games

Basketball is one of two Special Olympics events at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Most Read