Concerns that the Homelinks program would be reconfigured from kindergarten-Grade 12 to kindergarten-Grade 9 were laid to rest at Tuesday’s School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of education meeting.
Nearly three weeks after a letter from principal Dan Dalgaard informed Homelinks parents that Grade 10-12 students would be shifted to a learning centre at Prince Charles Secondary School (PCSS), Supt. Jeff Jones announced via video conference that the students would remain with Homelinks.
He did, however, ask Homelinks administration to see that students requiring more help than the program offers be placed in other programs.
“We observed a number of students enrolled in Grade 10-12 that are not true home school students,” Jones said.
More than one, he said, required regular, and sometimes daily, teacher assistance, which is not supported by Homelinks funding.
The April 21 announcement that students would be relocated was quickly met with feedback, most of it opposing to the change, Jones said.
Parents were later informed that the Grade 10-12 students could stay with Homelinks, housed at the Creston Education Centre, but be overseen by PCSS administration, which would have cut their teacher time from 0.5 full-time equivalent to 0.25 FTE, according to Homelinks Parent Advisory Council (PAC) chair Rebecca Huscroft.
PAC members attending Tuesday’s meeting welcomed Jones’ announcement that the current system would be maintained, and Huscroft encouraged keeping communication open.
“We’re happy to hear it has come to this,” said Huscroft. “Our biggest concern was the change in administration for home school families.”
Over 30 students, some full-time and some part-time, in Grades 8-12 receive home school assistance from Homelinks.