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THE AREA’S Catholic elementary school will be keeping Grade 7.
Veritas principal Dave Crawley says it won’t be following the decision of the public school system to move Grade 7 from its elementary schools to a middle school of Grades 7-9.
He said the school’s governing council discussed the possibility and also surveyed parents of Grade 6 students and found that a majority favoured keeping Grade 7.
“We talked to all of them and out of 30 [parents of students], 24 said they would like to stay,” Crawley said.
Had Veritas decided to eliminate Grade 7, students entering that grade this fall would have gone to Skeena Junior Secondary, which is converting from a Grade 8-10 school to a middle school of Grades 7-9.
Reasons parents favoured keeping Grade 7 included the religious education offered at Veritas and knowing who would teach their children, Crawley said.
“A few others wanted to see how things might turn out over the first year,” he said of the shift at Skeena.
Crawley said Veritas is proud of its educational offerings which begin with all-day kindergarten.
“As long as there is a demand, we’ll be offering Grade 7,” he said.
Veritas has approximately 200 students with one teacher per grade, meaning there aren’t any splits, said Crawley.
In addition to a 0.6 band teacher, librarian and assistance for special needs students, Veritas also has a full time physical education specialist, he added.
“You don’t see that in the public school system,” said Crawley of the P.E. specialist.
Veritas first opened in September 1959 on the location of the present-day Skeena Mall on Lakelse Ave. Buildings were moved to the current Straume Ave. location in 1973 and several renovations and additions have since taken place.
The school was staffed for many years by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and by Frontier Apostles, a volunteer group which served at Catholic schools all over northern B.C.