By Korie Marshall

Proposed changes to the school district’s policy on which school a child goes to won’t affect students in the Robson Valley now. However if one of the schools was to start a “choice” program such as French Immersion, Aboriginal or Traditional programs, the student’s bussing options could be affected.

Catchment is the geographical area a school or program serves, and the policy defines how enrollment is determined for children in and outside of a school or program’s catchment area, as well as the school district’s responsibility for busing students to those schools.

There is currently no choice program offered in Valemount or McBride, so Sarah Holland, chair of School District 57’s parent advisory committee says there won’t be much effect from the proposed policy changes.

However Holland warns that a change in phrasing in the proposed updates could mean that the family is responsible for a student’s transportation, if a choice program was to be offered at one of the area’s schools. “I know there was some talk of a choice type of option at Valemount Secondary at one point,” she says. “Adding this clause to the policy would make adding such a choice program much more difficult.”

The existing policy and proposed changes can be found on the school district’s website under Policy Manual.