It's official: The Seven Summits Centre for Learning will start the coming school year in different, more spacious premises. Emphasizing that Seven Summits is NOT a religious school and has no religious affiliations, Seven Summits board member Shelley Ackerman confirmed that the Centre for Learning has reached an agreement about sharing St. Andrew's United Church and will be leasing the red-roofed Rossland landmark.
Shared premises: how it will work
The arrangement promises to be mutually beneficial. It will enable the Communities of Faith congregation to keep its presence in Rossland and continue conducting services on its usual schedule by sharing space with Seven Summits, and it will allow Seven Summits to expand its student body and provide a better learning environment.
When it is not being used by the church's congregation, the sanctuary will be available for the school to use, as well as all the rest of the church building. Ackerman suggested that it would be suitable for the school's "RED Talks" and for plays, and for Grade eight and nine students giving presentations for their "Rites of Passage Experience." For that, a student chooses to learn something in-depth during the year from a mentor; toward the end of the year, the student makes a presentation to introduce their mentor to an audience and explain what they learned.
When school is not in session, the Communities of Faith congregation will still be able to use the "annex" -- the large hall. The congregation has the primary right to use the sanctuary, and Seven Summits has the primary right to use the remainder of the premises -- except for a storage area to meet the congregation's modest needs.
A "clearing out sale"!
The Communities of Faith congregation is busy clearing out items collected and stored over the decades, to make the space available to Seven Summits. There will be a "sale" -- a large collection of things will be put on display in the St. Andrew's hall -- the annex -- and can be acquired by donation, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 5, 6 and 7, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm each day.
How Seven Summits came to be:
Seven Summits Centre for Learning is the end result of dedication and hard work by community members who formed the "Visions for Small Schools Society" because they were determined to maintain Kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Rossland even though School District #20 closed Rossland Secondary School and converted it to an elementary school (now "Rossland Summit School"), and sold the former elementary school to School District #93, the Francophone school district for BC.
Seven Summits makes it possible for students to attend the Ski Academy and also complete a top-quality high school education here in Rossland; it attracts a number of international students to Rossland every year for that reason. For the coming school term, Seven Summits has students registered who hail from Germany, Turkey, New Zealand, and Ireland, as well as from other parts of Canada. Students of the local dance academy also benefit from Seven Summits' flexible programming.
Seven Summits became a part of the public school system and expanded its educational offerings when it teamed up with School District #71's "North Island Distance Education" (NIDES) program. To learn more about that, go to http://www.navigatenides.com/index.php/our-school/program-locations-across-bc/