The school board has decided which trustee representation systems it prefers, and will soon hold public meetings to talk about its decision.
The board had been looking at two possibilities, both with five instead of the current seven trustees.
The first involved one trustee from Old Massett, one from Skidegate and three others elected at large from the rest of the islands.
The second had one trustee from each of Old Massett, Skidegate, North Graham Island, South Graham Island and Central Graham Island, but the board has chosen a third one, slightly different from option two.
According to trustee Maggie Bell Brown the board has opted for a representation system with one trustee for Old Massett, one for Masset and Two Hill, one for central Graham Island (Port to Miller Creek) and one for Queen Charlotte and Moresby Island.
Chair Andreas Uttendorfer told those attending the school board meeting May 24 in Masset that the board has made a decision, and will go to the public shortly.
We are going to Â…”inform the public again at how we arrived at this decision and what the final decision is. We are no longer going to look at options,” Mr. Uttendorfer said.
He said he hopes the board will send its report to Victoria by the end of this month, in time for the representation system to be changed before the election in November.
There will be two meetings later this month, one in the north, one in the south, to inform islanders of the decision, according to Mr. Uttendorfer. “Time Is pressing,” he said.
Changing the representation of the board was first suggested by the two band councils years ago. They felt that since half the students in the schools are Haida, the board should be legally obliged to better reflect that.
The planned change is not likely to sit well with some residents of Sandspit. That community now has its own trustee, but under the new plan, is lumped in with central Graham Island. At a board meeting in April, Sandpit resident Dan MacNeil, who spearheaded a petition against the change, said the community does not want to lose its representation. He also linked the continuation of the Sandspit school to the community having a trustee.
The following is the text of an ad which will appear in the Observer Thursday June 2 and 9.
The Board of Trustees for School District No. 50 (Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte) is holding two public meetings to discuss the process and the reasoning leading to their final decision on the model of Trustee Variation to be presented to the Ministry of Education:
7:00 PM – Monday, June 13, 2005 at George M. Dawson Secondary School in the library
7:00 PM, Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at Queen Charlotte Secondary School in the library
The following is a summary of the model decided upon:
Trustee Electoral Area 1 Old Massett
Trustee Electoral Area 2 North: including Masset and Tow Hill
Trustee Electoral Area 3 Central: including Port Clements, Tlell, Lawn Hill, Miller Creek
Trustee Electoral Area 4 Skidegate
Trustee Electoral Area 5 South: including the Village of Queen Charlotte and Moresby Island
Maps and detailed legal descriptions will be available at the meetings.
Everyone is welcome to attend and ask questions!