A Parksville high school’s trip to Nicaragua will proceed despite school board concerns related to air travel and the environment.
Schools superintendent Keven Elder said the board still encourages excursions to be as close to home as possible, but that this Ballenas Secondary School trip’s educational value outweighed its environmental impact.
“It’s a solid educational program, it’s a trip that’s been done a number of times by Ballenas,” said Elder. “I believe that the board understands and we understand the value of the trip…the question of air travel is now one of the key considerations for trustees.”
Following discussion in the fall about field trips requiring air travel, the board voted against a controversial motion concerning not supporting out-of-province field trips because of their environmental impact. Instead, trips will continue to be looked at on a case by case basis by the board and approved based on their educational value.
The impact was discussed, however there’s a review underway of the field trip policy that Elder says will reinforce the idea that trips should be as close to home as possible.
“It’s seen as a benefit, going to Nicaragua, even with the carbon impact,” he said. “They’re also aware of what carbon offsets might look like, whether its financial or tree planting or some other means, so there’s a high social conscience around it.”