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

Actor hits playhouse tonight, in honour of her sister

Langley’s Elyse Ritchie may be an administrator by day, but by night she loves being on stage.

Langley students awarded for historic knowledge

Several students were singled out for awards at a recent Heritage Fair.

Young Langley golfer has strong weekend

Emma Yang shot two under part in her division.

The Circus is coming to Aldergrove

Great Benjamins Circus is coming to thrill fans of high-wire derring-do in Aldergrove in May

VIDEO: Two Langley musicians join Motown Meltdown

Fundraiser on tap at the Commodore this weekend.

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Driving Change: A B.C. man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

Most Read