From Charles Dicken’s PAC Re: The Proposed Budget Cuts and VSB Engagement Process

Fellow PACs,

The VSB Engagement process and public consultation meetings to gather parent/citizen/teacher/staff input and feedback is about the Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) which includes all things enrollment numbers, seismic upgrades, 95% capacity and school closures. Given the Prov Budget and insufficient education funding and the resulting VSB shortfall, its critical that we all give input and feedback to this process. And the LRFP feeds into the VSB Strategic Plan for the coming 16yrs thru to 2021 – It’s all connected.

You may think it won’t affect you – for any number of reasons – I would argue we will all be affected to some degree.

For example, at Dickens, we won’t close and we have a new building – but we could see our class sizes increase to their maximum, we could lose “open” space or other spaces we now use due to the 95% capacity being imposed by Govt. Many of you may face the same changes.

If you are in an old school you could be facing seismic upgrades. If you are in a school which is ‘under capacity’, you could be facing changes or even closure. If you are heading to or at a highschool, likely the school is up for seismic upgrades or is below capacity. And if a neighbouring school was to get closed or repurposed for seismic upgrade – then we could feel the impact of that in our community and at our schools.

The VSB is going to have to make some very tough decisions and they need our input for 2 key reasons:

– Feedback and data helps them push back to the Min of Ed – power in parents, staff, citizens etc – everyone

– Parent/Staff input across regional, cultural, community and socioeconomic perspectives helps the VSB make smart, strategic decisions for all our kids – they don’t know what they don’t know until we tell them

They are seeking input on things to look for or consider and what’s important if they close a school.

They are seeking feedback on temporary accommodations for seismic and what will trade offs look like.

They want to hear what is acceptable or not with repurposing space.

The kick off for public consultation is Sat Mar 5 – see VSB Poster attached – this will be an open house where the VSB will share information and will seek input and feedback.

This is then followed by 5 open house/workshop dates from April thru to May 8 – most are on the weekend with a few in the evening during the week.

The open house component will be similar in all cases and be an opportunity to learn and share. The workshop portion will be more interactive with breakout groups. You only need to attend 1 session and it doesn’t have to be the one closest to your home/school.

The final event on May 8 is an open house style where VSB will be sharing the report based on input from March and April.

All communications are currently in English but the VSB Engagement team will be reaching out to different communities and both translating materials and will have translation for some events. (all I have on this at the moment)

The attached Strat  Plan summary is a two pager which illustrates how the Strat Plan and the LRFP overlap.

The Engagement Poster has all the dates and locations of the Open House/Workshop events.

VSB will be updating regularly through their Blog/website –  and Twitter –

I will be at the Mar 5 event and then will attend a workshop in April too. I encourage you all to attend a workshop and to circulate the information through your PACs and parent communities.


Charles Dickens PAC

VSB-Engagement Poster | Garibaldi Annex PAC

VSB-Engagement Poster | Garibaldi Annex PAC

Here’s the PDF for the 2021 VSB Strategic Plan LRFP Strategic Plan Summary | Garibaldi Annex PAC


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