LETTER: The future of RSS

By Contributor
January 12th, 2013

Dear editor,

Although we reside in southwest Ontario near Guelph, my wife and I share great affection for Rossland.

A decade and a half ago, with she between jobs and me on a sabbatical from my teaching career, we decided to spend a year in the mountains of southern B.C. with our children – and chose Rossland. Indeed, our son returned and now lives there with his partner, and I might add two healthy grandchildren.

When Nancy and I visit, which seems to average two times per year, we always feel energized by the community’s youthful vitality. Perhaps because we are away for extended periods of time, we notice changes that may not be as obvious to full time residents. Over the last few years we’ve commented on the growing number of younger families, which has statistically been validated by Rossland’s increasing population.

As a result we were extremely surprised and disturbed to hear that RSS is under threat. Losing a high school, with all its accompanying positive spinoffs, is tantamount to a healthy community such as Rossland losing a limb.

A high school provides a source of pride in the present, and hope for the future. We still listen to the superb recording ‘Turning the Corner’, put out in the late 90’s by RSS’s Music Department, featuring the school’s concert and jazz bands. Walking by the attractive playing field on a fall day, with students engaged in sports, reaffirms one’s faith in the years to come.

Downsizing or closing RSS will also, of course, bring economic losses to the community. Any predicted short term financial savings will be negated by some families choosing to live elsewhere, with the accompanying loss of tax dollars.

A handful of years ago in east Africa, on a dilapidated building serving as a lending institution, a large sign stated a truism, which in itself, is certainly not new. However as one would not see it on any similar institution here in Canada, I photographed it for posterity. It simply said ‘Money Comes, Money Goes’. A universal statement of fact. Justifying the diminution of RSS based on finances is a no win situation.

Finally, I can say with certainty,  that our family WOULD NOT have lived in your wonderful community for that year, without RSS We would not have chosen to have our children bussed down the mountain in winter. Living here in southern Ontario, where a mere 5 cm. of snow often justifies shutting down school buses, (in gentle terrain I might add) we find it incredible that regular bussing to Trail is even on the table. Let alone the added expenses involved, and robbing students of the ability to walk to school. This flies in the face of current efforts toward environmental sustainability, and encouraging children to adopt healthier lifestyles, which of course incorporates opportunities to walk.

In sum, therefore, to consider downsizing or closing RSS seems absolutely nonsensical, to proceed would be absolute folly.

Respectfully submitted by Rick and Nancy Goodfellow

Elora, Ontario

Categories: Letters

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