District seeks feedback on future of Shoreline, Craigflower schools

An online open house set for this week will seek feedback on options for the future of Shoreline Middle School and Craigflower Elementary School, including the possibility of combining the two on a single site.

Craigflower is on Admirals Road and Shoreline, which opened in 1968 as a junior high school, is around the corner on Shoreline Drive.

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Both schools need significant seismic upgrades and have been designated as high-priority risks.

“It’s been a very long conversation with lots of differences of opinion,” said Greater Victoria School District superintendent Shelley Green. “Neither school is in very nice shape.”

Four options for the two sites are under consideration:

• Complete seismic upgrades for Shoreline and Craigflower.

• Upgrade and expand ­Shoreline and reconfigure it for kindergarten-Grade 8, leading to the closure of Craigflower.

• Complete a seismic upgrade for Shoreline and do no improvements to Craigflower.

• Complete a seismic upgrade for Craigflower and do no improvements to Shoreline.

The Songhees and Esquimalt Nations are very interested in the prospect of having younger children at the same school as their older siblings, said Green, adding the First Nations also want to talk about ­moving ­Indigenous languages back into Shoreline, Craigflower and Esquimalt High School.

There is already a combined middle school and elementary school in the Sooke School ­District at Ecole John Stubbs, which has a schoolwide French immersion curriculum.

Jodi Whiteman, a member of the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, said she sees merit in combining Shoreline and Craigflower. “It might be a good way to collaborate with the First Nations.”

Greater Victoria School Board chairwoman Jordan Watters said providing a safe learning environment for students and staff is the top priority.

The online open house is set for Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with more information available at sd61.bc.ca. There is also an online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/Craigflower-Shoreline for students, staff, parents and guardians, and residents of the community.

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