Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Back to school: Police pull over speeding mom who smoked ‘celebratory’ joint

School zone speed enforcement as students returned to classes on Tuesday landed Saanich police an unexpected culprit — a mother who had been smoking marijuana.
Students arrive for the first day of classes at Cloverdale Traditional School on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016.

School zone speed enforcement as students returned to classes on Tuesday landed Saanich police an unexpected culprit — a mother who had been smoking marijuana.

Her car had a distinct marijuana smell when she was pulled over for speeding on Burnside Road West, near Marigold Elementary School and Spectrum Community School, said Acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie of Saanich police.

Leslie said the woman, who had dropped her children off at an unspecified school and was on her way to work, had smoked a celebratory back-to-school joint with some friends.

She was given a sobriety test and found fit to drive, but it looks like she will be receiving a traffic ticket, he said.

He said the situation raises issues for police. “That’s quite concerning, obviously, thinking that it’s OK to do that type of thing.”

Police will keep patrolling school zones in the coming days, he said.

New year brings new curriculum

Across the province, the close to 530,000 students who have returned to classes also headed into Year 2 of B.C.’s new curriculum, which was introduced in 2015-16 as an optional choice from kindergarten to Grade 9.

The new curriculum — which focuses on the core skills of reading, writing and math, as well as collaboration, critical thinking, communications and computer coding — is now in full force for those grades, and is an option in Grades 10-12. The number of provincial exams will drop to two from five at all schools.

The effort also seeks to give teachers the flexibility to focus on students’ individual strengths and the things that interest them most. They can also choose evaluation methods that suit their students.

Education Minister Mike Bernier said the changes are to help “make sure students have the skills they need to stay first in line for future jobs in B.C.’s growing economy.”

Teachers have expressed some support for the concept while also raising questions.

Sooke Teachers’ Association president Ian Johnson said one thing he wants to know is whether teachers will be given enough class-preparation time to ensure “successful implementation” of the new regime.

Adequate funding for such things as new textbooks is also a concern.

“Clearly, from our perspective, they are both sorely lacking,” Johnson said.

Still, the concept has merit, he said.

“I think that the new curriculum is trying to address 21st-century learning,” he said.

“We know where it’s going, this technology, and we have to address that. The curriculum goes some distance to attempt to do that.”

Cloverdale students back at ‘home’

Tuesday’s start of classes was an especially big event for students at Cloverdale Traditional School, who returned to a renewed building.

Students spent the past school year at the former Richmond Elementary School to allow for the $3.5-million seismic refit and general upgrade that transformed Cloverdale. Richmond has been used as temporary quarters during a series of seismic projects at schools in the Greater Victoria school district.

Cloverdale parent Adina Appenheimer, who was dropping off children Danika, Jacob and Marcus, praised the job done at the school.

“It looks lovely from the outside, nice and crisp again.”

Parent Tina Neufeld, bringing Kaira and Kian to classes, said it was good to be back.

“It’s nice to be at our home school. It’s very comfortable.”Parent Tony Piasta, with Ava and Jake, said last year went well at Richmond.

“It sounds like everybody had a good time there and it really went pretty smoothly. You could catch the bus from here to go there.”

He said he is happy to be back to a regular routine.

“We live close. A lot of people do, actually, so it’s a little easier to get here.”

Seismic refits were also completed at several schools in the Saanich district.

Year-long work was wrapped up over the summer at Parkland Secondary (valued at $9.1 million) and Cordova Bay Elementary ($5.3 million).

Seismic work worth $1.6 million was done at Lochside Elementary over the summer, while an extensive $11-million project is continuing at Dunsmuir Middle School in the Sooke school district.

Enrolment up in Sooke district 

Other issues around the region include rising student population in the Sooke school district, where Royal Bay Secondary recently had four portable classrooms installed despite opening just a year ago.

But an unanticipated jump from last year’s approximately 800 students at the $38.6-million facility made the move necessary, said district superintendent Jim Cambridge.

So far, the student total is up by more than 100. The increase in students hadn’t been expected to happen for at least a few years, he said, adding that the district is applying for a school addition that is accounted for in the original layout.

Royal Bay principal Windy Beadall said the increase in students is not generating problems, and there is the same sort of excitement in the air as last year when the doors opened for the first time.

The jump in numbers can be linked to a number of factors, she said.

“We’ve had a lot of kids come back to Royal Bay from other areas. We’ve had quite a bit of movement from out-of-province.”

Just the idea of attending a newly built school is attractive to students, Beadall said.

“It is a beautiful school and people want to be here.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks