An independent elementary school in Victoria is citing BC’s teacher shortage as a “direct” cause of its closure this June.
“After 30 years, Elizabeth Buckley School, an independent elementary school in Victoria, will close its doors at the end of this school year,” Vice Principal Roberta MacDonald wrote on the school’s Facebook page.
The independent K-5 elementary school and 6-8 middle school is located in The Cridge Centre for the Family on Hillside Avenue, while the middle school is located at Nootka Court on lower Douglas Street.
“The closure is a direct result of the teacher shortage in BC, which has left schools across the province scrambling to maintain adequate levels of qualified staffing in their classrooms,” Macdonald said.
“Facing a staff shortfall for 2018-19, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to recommend closure of the school at the end of June.”
Teacher Shortage Not Limited to One School
On Wednesday 11 April, members of the Hands On Summer Camp Society, which runs Elizabeth Buckley School, voted for the closure.
Macdonald said that Elizabeth Buckley School is “not alone in its struggle.”
She cited 2017 change in class size limits in public schools, saying it has had a “dramatic impact” on staff recruitment in schools across the province.
The Federation of Independent School Associations of British Columbia (FISA BC) has reportedly fielded a large number of calls related to this issue from independent schools like Elizabeth Buckley.
No Changes Until School is Out
Macdonal said that until the end of June, things will be “business as usual for Elizabeth Buckley School.”
“The staff will continue to maintain its excellent program for the remainder of the school year as the Board and Admin team move forward with the closure process,” she added.
EBS was Canada’s first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) school and offers a program based on an enriched BC curriculum, which allows children with special needs to learn alongside their typically-developed peers.