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Vancouver high school science labs at risk

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Anthony Wong, PAC chair at Gladstone Secondary. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)

Anthony Wong, PAC chair at Gladstone Secondary. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)

“With an efficient scheduling of science classes and the use of all designated science rooms there will be no loss of science offerings for Gladstone students.” — Vancouver School Board

A Vancouver School Board report on moving an adult education centre into a local high school is addressing concerns over a lack of science space once the shift to Gladstone Secondary is complete.

To save $600,000 annually, the school district is trying to move its Main Street Education Centre — a facility for adult students — into Gladstone.

However, the proposed move has drawn criticism from parents and teachers.

According to a report to be presented Tuesday at VSB, teachers are worried because two science rooms are located within the proposed adult space.

District staff have said the option is viable since the school is facing declining enrolment and safety isn’t a concern when students would be separated — with their own washrooms, separate entrances, working spaces, and more.

In its response, the board said it’ll be up to “efficient scheduling” to tackle the science lab challenges, which could include the elimination of some preparation time ahead of classes.

“This is not unusual at schools that are at maximum capacity,” the board’s response read.

“Should the proposal be approved, a working transition group (including Gladstone teaching staff representative) will be created to ensure a successful integration.”

The board pointed out there are nearly 10 science labs school-wide and it’s “more than sufficient” to support the existing student body.

The MSEC is currently located at Terminal Avenue, but its lease expires at the end of July.

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