Kootenay Lake School Board listens to concerns of Trafalgar parents
A crowd of more than 35 concerned parents, teachers and citizens took to the Trafalgar Library Tuesday for the latest stop on the Kootenay Lake School Board facilities draft plan tour.
Kootenay Lake School Board Secretary-Treasurer Kim Morris and District Superintendent Jeff Jones explained reasons why Trafalgar is one of the schools on the chopping blocks as the board attempts to reduce its deferred maintenance by making better use of its operations.
Morris said the board plans to close Trafalgar, moving Grade 6-7 students back to elementary schools and Grade 8’s to L.V. Rogers High School.
That move raised concerns from many attending the meeting that LVR would be overcrowded, and wouldn’t be able to meet the educational needs of students.
The audience was also concerned with the closing of Trafalgar’s shops as well as how the music program would be delivered to students returning to elementary schools.
Other school earmarked for closure include Yahk Elementary, Winlaw Elementary, Creston Education Centre, Salmo Elementary and Jewett Elementary School in Meadow Creek.
The process continues Wednesday at Salmo Elementary School Library (6-9 p.m.) before parents and students have their say at Yahk Elementary School Library on Monday, June 27 (6-9 p.m.) to close out the final round of meetings.
The board will then proceed with two special meetings, one on July 5 for first and second reading of the School Closure Bylaw, and one on July 12 for third reading of the School Closure Bylaw.
Rural Education Enhancement Fund
In light of the Rural Education Enhancement Fund and the latest announcement regarding the deadline for submissions, the Kootenay Lake Board is holding a Special Open Board Meeting on June 22nd at 3 p.m. in the gym at Salmo Elementary School.
The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss/debate the Board’s desire to submit application and if so, for which schools.
The Rural Education Enhancement Fund was announced on June 15, 2016.
The REEF is designed to recognize the significance of preserving schools in small rural communities (less than 15,000 population) for community viability and sustainability.
Rural school districts can make application to the Ministry of Education to access ongoing funding to help keep schools open in these communities, as the Ministry works with its partners to undertake a review of rural schooling and rural school funding, with an aim to developing a Rural Education Strategy.
Approximately $2.5M has been set aside for this program for the 2016/17 school year.