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Kootenay Lake School Board receives some good news on eve of Tuesday’s Special Open Board Meeting

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
July 3rd, 2016

The Kootenay Lake School District received some favourable news from the Ministry of Education Friday that may assists in the decision-making process when the Board hosts the first of two special meetings of the School Closure Bylaw Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the L.V. Rogers Gymnasium.

The Ministry pre-approved 2017-18 funding for the Jewett Elementary in Meadow Creek and one of the two schools in the Slocan Valley W.E. Graham in Slocan or Winlaw Elementary.

Jewett’s pre-approved funding was $46,947 while W.E. Graham or Winlaw Elementary was $295,532 or $347,142.

The funds are part of the Rural Education Enhancement Fund — REEF — recently announced by the provincial government.

Funding for Salmo Elementary, one of the four applications presented by the School District 8, was denied because “it did not meet all of the criteria,” said a Kootenay Lake School District media release.

The Kootenay Lake School Board recently completed a tour of the six schools considered for closure as part of the Facilities Plan.

The meeting that saw the board take most heat from the community came in the Slocan Valley at Winlaw Elementary.

However, despite both Winlaw Elementary and W.E. Graham meeting most of the REEF criteria, the Board said the Ministry would only fund one of the schools, meaning the other would close.

The Board is appreciative of the Ministry’s consideration of the four applications submitted and looks forward to the discussion regarding approved REEF on July 5,” the release said.

Kootenay Lake School Board said questions remain, and a letter will be sent to the Ministry for clarification.

  • REEF’s impact on maintaining empty seats in the district and how this will impact capacity utilization for future capital renewal in SD8
  • Impact on the small community supplements Jewett, Winlaw, WE Graham and Salmo Elementary currently receive as part of the annual operating funding envelope.

The Chair of the Kootenay Lake School Board, Lenora Trenaman acknowledges this is potentially a good news story for those communities qualifying for the funding.

However, Trenaman emphasizes that it will be important to understand the implications of keeping underutilized space open when trying to uphold the principles of the District’s long range facilities plan.

  • providing the best learning environments;
  • sustainability and stability;
  • realignment of money spent on maintenance and capital for our buildings to direct service and programming to students;

The Kootenay Lake School Board encourages the public to attend upcoming Tuesday’s Special Open Board Meeting as trustees hold first and second readings of the School Closure Bylaw.

The third reading is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12 at 5 p.m. in the LV Rogers Secondary School Gymnasium.

Categories: Education