Since the election of a new school board in the Kootenay Lake School District, representatives from the British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) have been actively attempting to find ways to rekindle its relationship with the district.
Last year the district, along with one other school district in Vancouver, opted not to renew its membership in the provincial body over concerns that the association’s mandate had shifted from an advocacy to a co-governance role.
“On this board now we have five incumbents and four new trustees. This is an opportunity for them to bring us back into the fold, and maybe those four voices will have an impact,” said board chair Lenora Trenaman.
But she said she’s not sure how warm of a welcome the BCSTA will receive in Nelson.
“They have to convince our board that we want to enter back into membership and quite frankly I don’t know what they might be able to provide.”
She said the decision to leave wasn’t taken lightly, and neither will the potential decision to rejoin.
“Our board doesn’t want to see the BCSTA lose its strength as a provincial body. We wanted to make a statement, and that statement was we were very unhappy with the direction and the focus of the organization.”
She said their concerns have been aired, and they’ve brought the new trustees up to date. Now the ball is in the BCSTA’s court.
Recently the school board invited the association to travel to the district and meet with them. They proposed dates in February and are waiting to hear back.
“They can’t changed what’s already transpired. I think they understand the seriousness of us taking that position and the very serious nature of our concerns. But have they done anything to resolve those concerns? No. I don’t think they have. But I’m also not sure how they could,” she said.
She said there are some trustees, including incumbents, who are hopeful the conflict will be resolved.