EGSD Board discusses potential new Fraser school
The Fraser valley could see a new school in the coming years as the Fraser Valley School Foundation (FVSF) continues their discussions with the East Grand School District (EGSD) regarding a proposed secondary school facility for the community.
During the last EGSD Board of Education meeting the Board was updated on the ongoing discussions and informed the FVSF has expressed interest in the possibility of developing a community school in Fraser under the auspices of the EGSD. The community school is one of two possible routes the FVSF is considering for development of a new secondary school on the southeastern end of the county. The other possible route is the development of a charter school.
Miesha Anderson, President of the FVSF, confirmed the Foundation is considering both a community school and a charter school in their ongoing discussion with the EGSD. “We are trying to figure out what our best option is as far as type of curriculum,” said Anderson. “The goal would be to have the least financial impact on the community.”
The FVSF is working to develop plans for creating a new school in the Fraser area. No specific plans have been developed and any possible new school construction, whether a charter school or community school, would be years in the future. Anderson said the FVSF is currently focusing on a future school for middle school and high school students and not for elementary students, attempting to prevent the bussing of students to the Granby area.
“One of the exciting things developing this month is the possibility of a partnership with the school board,” Anderson said.
During last week’s Board of Education meeting Board members referenced meetings they have had with the FVSF and expressed their openness to developing a plan for a new school but highlighted concerns as they saw them. “I came away with the idea they don’t have a real concrete idea of what niche they want to fill,” said recently elected Board President Mike McGinley. “I think they were trying to feel us out,” said Board member Chip Besse.
Newly elected Board Vice President Taunia Shipman gave voice to her misgivings about the project saying, “I think it would be really hard for me as a Board member to support any brick and mortar building.”
District Superintendent Jody Mimmack Ph.D urged the Board to be open minded and work to find a collaborative process. “I know people are anxious but I think we don’t need to go fishing,” she said. “This group of people (the FVSF Board) doesn’t give me the sense that this has to be decided tomorrow. They just want us to think, collaborate and listen.”
“They have good intentions,” said McGinley. “But until we see things more set into writing I think we should not go off the handle. We will take it as it comes and do what is best for the kids.”
Superintendent Mimmack explained that any future school development plans would be contingent on the FVSF finding funding outside of the District. “The School District does not have any funds to build a school,” she said. “That group would have to come up with the capital to fund building a new building.”
She explained that currently the ball is in the FVSF’s court and the EGSD is awaiting a more concrete proposal before any decisions can be made. President of the FVSF Miesha Anderson explained the Foundation is planning a series of public meetings to discuss any possible proposal for a community or charter school in Fraser. The FVSF hopes to have their first meetings in Dec. or Jan. Meeting dates will be posted on the Foundation’s Facebook page. You can find their Facebook page by searching for Fraser Valley School Foundation. The page provides a forum for parents to discuss ideas and what their goals and ideas are for any possible future school.
Along with discussions of the proposed Fraser Valley Academy the EGSD Board of Ed approved a $26,000 expenditure for new security cameras and rekey work to be done on exterior doors throughout the District. The expenditure will cover the rekeying of all exterior door locks on all EGSD buildings and cameras will be installed at select interior and exterior locations in the buildings as well.
Since the Nov. meeting was the first meeting the EGSD Board of Education has had since the appointment of new Board member Phil Brooks the Board commenced with new officer elections. Former Board Vice President Mike McGinley was voted in as new Board President. Former Board President Taunia Shipman was elected Board Vice President. Phyllis Price was elected Board Secretary and the newest member of the EGSD Board of Ed Phil Brooks was elected Treasurer.
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Grand County voters will be deciding on a number of issues this November from tax increases to school board memberships. Ballots were mailed out last week and Election Day is Nov. 2.