Editorial: Rossland Telegraph Supports K-12 in Rossland

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
November 18th, 2008

Rossland is at a crossroads. In uncertain economic times, and with our population dwindling (and our school-age population dwindling more quickly) we need to do everything we can to shore up the pillars of our community if we’re to survive in the long haul. One of those pillars, an essential one, we believe, is Rossland Secondary School.

If our high school students are bussed down to Trail, there’ll be no coming back for Rossland: once the high school component of our school system is gone, it will never return. It’s that simple. And what will that mean to us all?

Nothing good.

Young families won’t choose to relocate to a community that lacks such basic services as an intact school system. And why should they? Without RSS, Rossland goes from being a functioning town to being a suburb of Trail. Period. Businesses won’t find Rossland an attractive place to start ig they can’t offer their employees a school for their kids.

Superintendent Jean Borsa was right at last week’s board meeting when she said that people in this district should choose to view the current crisis as an opportunity. With a range of new options opening up before us, we need to build for the future and we need to do it now. In last week’s Telegraph poll only 4% of Rosslanders favoured bussing our students to Trail. (96% favoured, with or without qualifications, keeping our kids near home).

Ensuring that K-12 stays in Rossland will only be the first of many challenges we’re likely to face in the next few years. If we fail to overcome this one, the others will be much harder to deal with. How will we be able to attract new jobs, for example, to a town without a high school? How will we weather the growing economic storm with a population that will begin shrinking even more rapidly the day after bussing begins?

In light of this, The Rossland Telegraph is taking a formal stance in favour of keeping K-12 education in Rossland. What configuration? Any configuration that works, is our reply.

For our part, we pledge to do our best to inform Rosslanders of the various options available to our community, beginning next week with a report on the K-12 school in Kaslo. We also want to support the work of Visions for Small Schools as they put together a community proposal in time for the school board’s March 2009 deadline and generally be a place where Rosslanders can keep informed.

For more information, check out our forum at http://www.rosslandtelegraph.com/node/1212

Categories: Op/Ed

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