Greater Victoria school district decides fate of Sundance elementary on Thursday

School considered for closure as school district grapples with budgetary restrictions

Sundance elementary students and their parents will learn the fate of the alternative school tomorrow (March 27).

The school, located at 1625 Bank St. near Royal Jubilee Hospital, is being considered for closure as the Greater Victoria School District  grapples with budgetary restrictions.

“We’ll be dealing with whether the board wishes to relocate the current program from Sundance to Lakehill elementary,” said Peg Orcherton, school district board chair.

The closure would save $315,000 annually and affect 58 students from kindergarten to Grade 5. The school’s unique programming focus on creative learning, the arts and environmental and social responsibility would move to Lakehill elementary in Saanich, nearly an hour by bus from the Jubilee neighbourhood.

“We really understand the school district’s hands are tied with limited funding from the government, but we’re looking at creative ways to keep this going … and also help to balance the school district’s budget,” said Kira Antinuk, who has two children enrolled at Sundance.

Antinuk said the school district will only transfer the alternative learning program to Lakehill if 40 of Sundance’s students agree to attend next fall.

“The majority of families walk or bike to school, so it’s just not feasible for them to send their children out there when they don’t have a car,” she said. “We’ve had only five students who said they could attend Lakehill if that was the only alternative.”

Sundance elementary supporters and members of the South Jubilee Neighbourhood Association will make their case against closing the school at a board meeting tomorrow.

The meeting takes place at 556 Boleskine Rd. and begins at 6:30 p.m.