Central School hosted a presentation on the Kootenay Lake school district's reconfiguration process on Wednesday evening.

SD8 admin to Nelson parents: ‘It’s time to do your homework’

Scored scenarios for district reconfiguration show closing Trafalgar as highest scored option.

The highest scored scenario in the Kootenay Lake School District’s newly released reconfiguration data involves closing down Trafalgar Middle School. And nobody seems very surprised by that.

“That was identified as something we should do nine, ten years ago. Everyone already knows that,” DPAC chair Sheri Walsh told the Star. “I wouldn’t say there were any real surprises tonight.”

And she’s impressed by the process administration has gone through—a process detailed step by step on Wednesday night at Central School by superintendent Jeff Jones, secretary treasurer Kim Morris, director Larry Brown and director Ben Eaton.

“I was curious about how the scoring would be done because on the surface these criteria look quite subjective, but from what I heard tonight it sounds like they came up with a quite objective, thoughtful process,” said Walsh.

That process involved examining 92 scenarios and ultimately scoring 50 of them.

According to the overall results, the scenarios involving the closure of South Nelson, Central, Blewett and Redfish all scored high.

The top-ranked scenario would split the district into K-6 and 7-12, rather than having the transition from elementary to secondary occur in Grade 8 or 9.

And it’s still a work in progress.

“This is not a recommendation. This is not a plan. This is data,” secretary-treasurer Kim Morris emphasized. “We invite you now to take it home, rip it apart, study it. It’s time to do your homework.”

Walsh has already expressed concerns that the time for feedback is too brief, especially because Spring Break lands in the middle, but said she’s encouraging all parents to get to work on studying the results.

This meeting addressed the Nelson family of schools, and was attended by approximately 50 people including trustees, principals and parents. After the presentation they were invited to examine printed off results, speak with the administration and put in their two cents.

“Engage us and engage your trustees,” said Morris.

Upcoming meetings will be held in Creston, Kaslo and Salmo. The Mt. Sentinel meeting on March 2 is anticipated to be especially controversial, as parents in the area are concerned about the potential closure of schools in Winlaw and Slocan.

The district reconfiguration process was initiated to address decreased enrolment and to strategize how best to jettison, consolidate or rebuild under-utilized assets.

The board has made no decisions about school closures at this time. The deadline to provide feedback is March 28.

All feedback can be directed to facilities@sd8.bc.ca.

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