Qualicum School District Facility Review
Population Projection Project
by William Warren Munroe, March 4, 2014

When considering school closures, use the Population Projection Project to create projection scenarios.

March 3, 2014, the Qualicum School District (QSD) Board of Trustees and some administrators met with parents/guardians students, teachers and citizens concerned about the QSD's recommendation to close Qualicum Beach Elementary School.

At this meeting, we found out that the method used to create the new (lower) enrolment forecast is not available. When asked for the method, a QSD Administrator, Rolly Koop, said he did not want to burden us with the details.

Since enrolment numbers, past, present, and future are important to consider when opening or closing a public facility - including public schools, they are required by law. The School Opening and Closure Order, School Act requires "consideration of future enrolment growth in the district of persons of school age, persons of less than school age and adults".1

Since "unfounded" numbers cannot reasonably be used in this facility review, an alternative that is open to review, that can be validated must be included.

Concerned citizens, including the Board of Education Trustees, can use the Population Projection Project to create projection scenarios.

This project was developed here in the QSD, after the 2010 efforts to close schools, to address questions about how the projections used in 2010 were created. We found out that the methods provided by BC Statistics were not the real methods used.2

People living in the Qualicum School District deserve to be able to see how projections are created, not only to ensure that the correct method and input data were used, but to better understand what the "findings" mean. Refer to the Population Projection Project.

Related reading

See the "Enrolment forecast changed without explanation "

See the letter to the Qualicum School District Board of Trustees, February 25, 2014 (follow up sent February 26, 2014 - received 2012/13 and 2013/14 enrolment counts - thank you Mr. Koop - see the table (.xls) with these numbers added).

See the letter to the Qualicum School District Board of Trustees, February 27, 2014


1 See SCHOOL OPENING AND CLOSURE ORDER, BC Ministry of Education, Governance and Legislation Branch E-95 October 15, 2009, Authority: School Act, section 73 and 168 (2)(p)

Also see "Public Consultation, authorized by the School Act, must address ...."

2 Indeed, BC Statistics changed the methods used many times without publication including using the change in the number of telephone landlines as an indicator of population change without informing citizens (tax payers). When we asked what was going on, the Assistant Deputy Minister asserted the "integrity" by quoting a study but refused to provide a citation for the quote. Our request through Freedom of Information for the citation was denied claiming " Disclosure harmful". See Disclosure harmful.

Also see the presentation to the 2013 Congress organized by the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences "Methods for Projections" session hosted by the Canadian Population Society "Population Projections for Community Members"

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