Depending on how the facilities planning process develops

School district mulls configuration options

The Kootenay Lake school district is nearing the culmination of a multi-year facilities planning process.

The Kootenay Lake school district is nearing the culmination of a multi-year facilities planning process that could result in school closures and will share their findings and seek community input at five upcoming meetings.

“There’s no potential plan at this point. We’re still mid-process,” superintendent Jeff Jones told the Star, noting that approximately 80 possible scenarios were put forward. “The purpose of the public meetings is to provide the communities with a view of what the scored scenarios look like.”

These meetings come after a year-long pause, something Jones said was caused by the labour-intensive process.

“Part of the work of determining viability was significant and required looking not only at projections but also history. That’s very difficult in the absence of a demographer, so this was a significant process.”

But now the board’s ready to get to work.

“I’m looking forward to picking up this work again as stakeholders are asking when it will be completed,” trustee Rebecca Huscroft said at a recent meeting, while trustee Sharon Nazaroff noted this is “great timing, especially since the ministry is now requiring long range facilities plans for capital planning.”

The school district has posted all the scenarios, as well as their evaluation criteria, on their website. A few of their stated goals: “maximize the potential to respond to future change,” “minimize total initial capital expenditure” and “improve the safety and quality of educational facilities.”

Some schools that could potentially be closed, according to scenarios listed online that were last updated on Feb. 10, 2015, include Yahk, Central, Redfish, W.E. Graham, Winlaw, South Creston and Jewett.

There are also multiple scenarios in which Wildflower moves, possibly to A.I. Collinson (presently home to L’ecole des Sentiers-alpins) or the closed Gordon Sargent. It’s been suggested Rosemont and Blewett could be combined, while South Nelson and Trafalgar could be rebuilt.

The district is also contemplating building a multi-use gymnasium and instructional space that could be used by the Rhythm Ropers and other groups. And the school district office, presently in the former North Shore school, may move into Nelson city hall.

This process has taken so long that district parent advisory council chair Shari Walsh was sitting on the board when it started and contributed to developing the criteria. Now she’s advocating on behalf of parents.

“One consideration is financial, but it also needs to make educational sense,” said Walsh, who praised the process but expressed reservations about how quickly parents are expected to respond following the meetings.

“I’m concerned about the compressed time period.”

She noted, for instance, that spring break takes place during the feedback period.

“The reason they want to get the plan out there is there’s a timeline, so this part has become a bit of a rush. But this is a time when we need to be really thoughtful.”

The presentations will take place between Feb. 24 and March 2, with the board presenting the results of their deliberations with each family of schools: Salmo, Kaslo, Slocan, Creston and Nelson.

That will be followed by a feedback period until March 28.

Afterward there will be draft plan presentations, taking place between March 30 and April 6. Parents will then have until April 30 to weigh in again.

Jones assured parents no decisions have been made, and they will be a vital part of the decision-making process.

“The plan will emerge. The scoring is a part of that and the public input around the scoring will inform the board.”

Feedback can be directed to facilities@sd8.bc.ca or to secretary-treasurer Kim Morris at 250-505-7039.

UPCOMING FACILITIES PLANNING MEETINGS

Meetings will take place between 6:30 and 9 p.m. Crawford Bay residents are welcome to attend in Kaslo or Creston

Feb. 24 Central School gym, Nelson

Feb. 25 PCSS Auditorium, Creston

Feb. 29 J.V Humphries School’s Lighthouse, Kaslo

March. 1 Salmo Secondary School

March. 2 Mt. Sentinel, South Slocan

 

 

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

KBRH on watch for bed bugs after two recent cases

Spokesperson Mandy Lowery says there has not been a bed bug sighting at KBRH since Dec. 8

Coffee card donations return at Wait’s News

The program supplied over 200 cards last year

Trafalgar students build home for sanctuary horse

Grade 8 students collaborated on a project with a local farm sanctuary

Nelson won’t restrict parking amnesty to West Kootenay

So far, more than 800 people have responded with amnesty payments

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Most Read