LETTER: Here we go again...RSS closure recommended by SD20 report

Shelley Ackerman
By Shelley Ackerman
September 29th, 2010

Hello Rosslanders,

Last night at the school board meeting, the school district 20 staff presented the next stage of Planning for the Future — a facilities report for 2010-2015 (attached). They state that the draft facilities report is the results of analysis the staff has been conducting over the last few months, and is presented for further public consultation.
  Please read the attached report — it affects all Rosslanders, whether you have children or not. The key points are the recommendation to close RSS and move all grade 8s to 12s to JL Crowe, requiring portables, and changing MacLean school to a K-7, requiring a portable and/or use of the MacLean Annex (which would displace the Francophone school). Other suggested closures are of the Blueberry Creek Community School (programs to be moved to Castlegar Primary) and the School Board office (to be moved to the Trail Middle School upper floors). The plan suggests most of these changes be put in pace for the 2012-13 school year, effectively leaving the school district with two 8-12 high schools, and all the elementary schools being K-7. Rossland would be affected more than any other community.   The scenarios presented in the attached report are the four scenarios with the highest points. If you would like to read the results of the over 40 options, all of that is available for download from the SD20 website:

In light of this report, it is even more imperative that we as a community work together to decide what it is we want for education in Rossland. Please attend the Neighbourhoods of Learning open house event this Sunday, from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Miner’s Hall. Not only will we be discussing this report, but we will work together on creative options for education in Rossland. We received a grant from with Ministry of Education, as well as the City of Rossland which has enabled us to hire a co-ordinator, Ami Haworth, who has been working on various options to make greater use of the RSS building, including talking to possible stakeholders who would be interested in leasing space, creating more of a community centre within our high school and helping to cover operating costs. This is an initiative the Ministry is promoting throughout the province.

The attached is only a report — it is not carved in stone, and depending on how the trustees vote, it could still be discarded like other plans have been in the past. We all need to give feedback to the school district and the board trustees — the board plans on doing some kind of public consultation about the report, and we need to be involved in this.

Thank you!
Shelley Ackerman
Rossland Visions for Small Schools Neighbourhoods of Learning Committee


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