Music students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University held an outdoor concert in Langley City to protest budget-tightening that eliminated new admissions. A study by a KPU math and science instructor has found KPU gets about half what other regional colleges and universities get. (Advance Times file photo)

Music students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University held an outdoor concert in Langley City to protest budget-tightening that eliminated new admissions. A study by a KPU math and science instructor has found KPU gets about half what other regional colleges and universities get. (Advance Times file photo)

Year In Review: Big changes at Langley high schools from Poppy to LSS

Debates over middle schools, new schools, and major renos took place

One of the biggest education stories in Langley in 2019 was what didn’t change.

In December, the Langley Board of Education voted against transforming D.W. Poppy Secondary into a middle school feeding into Aldergrove Community Secondary.

The decision followed months of consultations and strong opposition from the Poppy community, including many parents, students, and some teachers.

District staff recommended the middle school option for Poppy, as both that school and Aldergrove are below capacity.

But the change also would have created even longer bus rides or drives to school for many students, as Poppy already had the largest catchment area in Langley by far.

The dispute also caused consternation for teachers and parents at ACS. Some of the objections to sending Poppy students to Aldergrove were based on the idea that Aldergrove had “problem children” who would bully Poppy students or lure them into drinking, according to ACS principal Jeremy Lyndon.

“These are not easy things to hear,” said Lyndon, “and students and staff began to internalize it.”

Board members reported receiving a large number of “inappropriate” emails over the issue.

The district will now examine other options in 2020.

While reconfiguration was nixed at Poppy, two other Langley secondary schools saw major changes that passed without much controversy.

R.E. Mountain Secondary got a whole new building, as in September the brand-new campus opened adjacent to the old high school in Willoughby. The old high school becomes the neighbourhood’s second middle school, now dubbed Peter Ewart Middle.

The new high school was built to accommodate 1,700 students, a significant upgrade from the old campus, which had 21 portables before the changeover.

Meanwhile, Langley Secondary, the district’s oldest high school, turned 110 and marked the occasion with both a party and a major renovation and demolition at the current decades-old campus.

At the start of 2019, LSS students were using classrooms build in 1949. By the end of the year, they were mostly moved into classrooms built in the last year.

The massive changes included more flexible spaces and a chance to upgrade technology, with everything from USB plug ins to LED lighting.

Some classic maple wood from the old cafeteria was to be salvaged and used to build benches for the new section of the school, principal Marcello Moino said.

Demolition for much of the older portion of the school began in July and continued into the fall, with students using parts of both phases at times, but with the switch well underway by September of 2019.

At the post-secondary level, students at Langley’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) campus battled deep cuts to the school’s music programs.

The school said it was canceling new student intakes while it explored “more sustainable” models for funding the music program.

Students staged a musical protest in Langley, but many also began transferring to other schools to finish their musical education.

EducationLangleyLangley School DistrictYear in Review

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A lawsuit over three stormwater floods of a building over the past year has been launched against Langley City. (Langley Advance Times file)
Flooded apartment building sparks lawsuit against Langley City

A downtown landlord claims a lack of storm sewer upgrades is negligence

Abbotsford’s Willow Video location will be closing at the end of the month. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford’s Willow Video closing

Video game, movie retailer closing up shop after more than 20 years

Dead long-eared myotis bat found outside a home. (Danielle Dagenais/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Program asks Aldergrove residents to report bat sightings

Researchers are looking to see if spread of White-nose Syndrome in Washington has entered B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Lower Mainland this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

Most Read