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LETTER: GFSS balancing academic and physical needs of students

To the Editor:

In response to a "Letter to the Editor" regarding the Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) library move, I would like to bring some clarification to the issue.

As part of an initiative aimed at providing students with increased opportunities to pursue personal fitness, over the summer we relocated our fitness facility (originally located in the basement) to the main floor in the area previously hosting the library.

Our library has been relocated to another section of the building, not closed as indicated in the letter. In recent years with increased reliance on the internet, many of our resource books have become outdated, and only 20 percent (approximately) of the books were being accessed by our student body.

This enabled us to consolidate the books that were being used (such as fiction and some resource books) and look for a more efficient use of space. These texts now reside in another room with many of the books also being redistributed to classroom based libraries.

Calls were put out to the public library, other schools, and the public in general for interest in books that would be removed. Many people came and took advantage of this, while the remainder of the books, were sent for recycling.

We were then able to use the space to create a more accessible facility where students can work out during different times of the day with adequate supervision and support. At the moment, we have over 50 students that use this space as part of their personalized plan for staying fit (which is one of the key areas of concern outlined by the Ministry of Education), as well as a number of classes that use it as part of our regular physical education program.

Our designated library facility is now located in the west end of our building and is used as a place for students to sign out books, study, and/or work on online courses, however, the majority of research and information searching is now done via computer workstations available throughout the school, or on student owned devices via our wireless network.

Hopefully this helps clarify the concerns raised in this letter.

Sincerely,

Scott Stewart
GFSS Principal 

Grand Forks, B.C.