Janis Anderson on PFF Part 2

Visions for Small Schools
By Visions for Small Schools
November 27th, 2009

I have been a member the VSS society since it was first formed in 2002.
The Visions for Small Schools Society is a non-profit organization which
supports excellent and comprehensive K-12 in Rossland. Our society was
formed in 2002 when the Liberal government changed the Education Ministry’s
funding formula to one based strictly on the number of registered students
in a district. Previously, districts also received funding on the basis of
square footage of facilities. As a result, many school were closed due to
lack of funds. Since that time, the VSS has attempted to act as a watchdog
in order to anticipate threats to our K-12 education and our community.

This is a (another) critical time in the life of our schools in Rossland. If
you read the report just published by the the SD20 Board of Trustees called
Planning for the Future,Part 2, you may have been shocked to learn that an amalgamation of our two public school into one, is suggested for the near future (how near?). Many of us have talked about our preference for K-12 in Rossland but few of us have contemplated the physical reality of that concept. Well, if we
haven’t yet, we will be asked to in the near future.

It is my opinion that the board envisions K-12 in one building, or at least,
on one site. According to the facilities report, the RSS site is the only one that will accommodate the K-12 numbers for the short and long term. In the spring of last year, the board ask the ministry if you would give financial support to a renovation or a rebuild in the mountain town. Recently, the ministry replied to the negative, at least, not for a few years. Therefore, the board is suggesting an amalgamation using its own funds.

The Board of Trustees will now begin a series of public meetings in every
community in SD20. As you will read from the PFF document., reconfiguration is
suggested for every community in our district. They will be asking for input
and listening to concerns. Most of all, I believe, they need our ideas and
suggestions. The Rossland public meeting will be held on January 14, 2010 in the RSS gym.

The VSS has opened this blog as a vehicle through which we can all share
those ideas and concerns, The more we share our ideas, the greater the
chance we have to use this current situation as an opportunity.

Janis Anderson

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