Editor: On Tuesday evening (Feb. 17), I attended School District 35’s community consultation evening regarding the possible closure of Langley Secondary School. I am frustrated that we find ourselves in this position as a community again.
In the fall of 2007, the Board of Education voted to “reconfigure” H.D. Stafford Secondary to a middle school. This meant moving the Stafford secondary students to Langley Secondary School (LSS). It was not an easy transition for many students and staff as they struggled to redefine who they were.
Fast forward to today. The community of LSS has merged the best of LSS and HDSS to become a fantastic school which offers a multitude of learning opportunities for its diverse student population, whether their focus is academics, athletics, fine arts or trades. This school community has reinvented itself under some amazing leadership and it deserves a chance.
For those unable to attend the meeting, you may be interested in knowing that there were over 30 presenters. The message was loud and clear — “Right-size LSS.” This fourth proposal was brought forward by senior administration at the suggestion of the LSS community, and is cheaper than seismic upgrading of LSS. It also addresses the facility’s upgrade needs.
Having been in the trenches and fought to ”Keep Stafford Secondary,” the irony is not lost on me that I am now imploring the board to keep LSS open. My reasons for this are simple.
It is the cheapest option of the four presented; it creates the least disruption for the entire school district, and; it makes sense to keep the kids there rather than move them to Brookswood Secondary, where in another few years we may be meeting again to say we need another high school due to development in the south.
They can’t possibly recreate the same facility and adjoining amenities that LSS has at any other properties. There is a strong community need to have the history of LSS as the oldest secondary in the district honoured.
Most importantly, the LSS community deserves to be heard after all they have done to successfully recreate themselves. Disrupting this community yet again, when a viable option is available and is financially sound, would be irresponsible and a shame.