During her last month on the job

Kootenay Lake School District chops Nelson Resource Centre

Nelson district resource centre librarian talks about the elimination of the Kootenay Lake School District centre.

Wendy West has her work cut out of her in the next month.

Since the Kootenay Lake School District cut her position as district librarian, she’s been tasked with closing down the curriculum resource centre where she’s worked for 17 years. That means sorting and packing more than 20,000 learning materials that used to be shared between schools and, in many cases, picking one school to take care of them.

“In theory the schools can still co-ordinate between themselves and share the materials, but somebody’s going to need to find the time to do that,” West explained.

Some of the most popular materials, such as kits for science and Kindergarten that include everything needed to teach a unit in one box, will stay in storage in the basement of Central Education Centre for teachers to share.

“I give it a year. By then the materials will be a mess, and who will the district hire to clean it up? It won’t be me,” said West.

Her librarian position was funded as a 0.6 full-time equivalent, or 24 hours per week, but like many teachers West put in a lot of overtime, often working 60 hour weeks to make sure teachers got the resources and support they needed.

She helped teachers from Slocan to Kaslo find books or props to teach a special unit and helped prepare them when they were just starting out teaching a new grade.

At a recent school board meeting, several teachers said West had acted as a mentor to them and spoke against closing the resource centre.

Trafalgar middle school teacher Ann McDonnell said, even as a longtime teacher, she still uses the resource centre regularly.

“I have enough books in my classroom to fill a resource centre myself,” she joked. “I use the resource centre to keep my teaching fresh.”

Teacher-librarian Janene Stein at Redfish Elementary said her contract permits her merely two hours per week to dedicate to her library duties.

“How can I take on responsibility for resources in that time?” she asked the school district board of trustees, who offered no response to her question.

Slocan Valley Trustee Barbara Lindsey did bring a motion to the board asking them to keep the resource centre open, but without a seconder, the motion failed without further discussion.

The school district cut 19 full-time equivalent teaching positions for the upcoming school year. West was one of many affected.

Back at the resource centre, West is past the point of fighting to keep her job. She used her seniority to secure a new posting, teaching Kindergarten at Hume Elementary school starting in September.

From there she’ll watch and see how the district’s budget cuts unravel.

“School districts are being pressured into pushing through budgets that don’t make sense,” West said. “Cutting the resource centre at a time when teachers need support, with so many positions changing, it doesn’t add up.”

 

Just Posted

Louise Baxter found after 72 hour search

Cranbrook hiker had been missing since Sunday, August 12, near Jumbo Pass.

Nelson city hall will fly Pride flag this year

Council will develop a policy for future flag decisions

VIDEO: Happy birthday Kaslo

Village marks 125th birthday with reopening of city hall, sealing of time capsule

Nelson architecture firm to redesign Arrow Lakes Hospital

Cover Architecture Collaborative will work on the hospital’s emergency department

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of a partially collapsed bridge evacuated about 630 people from nearby apartments.

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

Since the crisis exploded in Boston in 2002, dioceses around the country have dealt with similar revelations of widespread sexual abuse.

Baloney Meter: is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

“I think any time you have a government that allows 30,000 people over the course of a short period of time to come into Canada illegally, the impact that that has, that is a crisis,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

B.C. RCMP say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled today

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Most Read