An OPEN LETTER TO SD 20 TRUSTEES: A community in disbelief

By Contributor
February 7th, 2013

To the members of the SD20 board,


After receiving the news from your monday night board meeting regarding the voting out of Option 1 – K-12 at RSS, it is fair to say the community of Rossland is in utter disbelief.


I was one of those people who believed in you all on January 15th when you said you came into this process with open minds and a willingness to hear all possible ideas. I now see that this whole process is a farce (an expensive one at that), and that many of you had already made up your minds on how you were going to vote. What stunned me the most is the 6 of you actually think that K-7 at MacLean is a viable, realistic option. Thank you Gordon, Mickey and Jen for standing up for our community.


Are you not a voted group of representatives whose job it is to act in the best interests of our childrens education and educational future? 


Your stated values direct from your website include:

  • Equity and fairness in educational opportunities
  • Life-long learning commitment
  • Education which honours diversity
  • Student centered learning
  • Partnership with communities

Tell me how jamming the junior children of Rossland into a severely overcrowded school and substandard annex meets the “Equity and fairness in educational opportunities” statement? The school is already full at K-5 and this option has no consideration for the growth of the school population in the years to come or the quality of their education in an overcrowded environment. Of course this option also leads to overcrowding at Crowe which is doing those students no favours either.


Partnership with communities. The community of Rossland fully embraced the school board and came up with a long list of ways to make our favoured of the 3 options on the table work. Everyone was so willing and supportive to working with the board to keep our school (a vital community asset) open. So what an insult it is to have this option thrown out at a meeting very under-represented by Rosslanders and not open to public debate. You have shown your true colours (3 of you excluded) in that you are not representing the citizens of Rossland any longer. Your message is loud and clear. You don’t care about our community and you aren’t willing to listen to us.


Your shortsighted approach to this whole matter of financial deficit is unbelievable and irresponsible and if you think the community of Rossland is going to just lay down and accept it then you’re wrong. This community isn’t bluffing when they say they will take their kids out of the system and look at other educational avenues. The financial figures you’ve presented to us don’t add up and don’t take into account any attrition rates from Rossland pupils. I wholeheartedly believe that closing either one of the Rossland schools is a huge mistake.


I no longer have any confidence in your decision making process and it is glaringly obvious that you are making decisions based solely on financial projections. Do you not care about the new Blended Learning Program at RSS that draws children from around SD20 and follows the Ministry of Education’s mandated 21st Century Learning approaches?


What about the outcry from our community to introduce Late French Immersion into RSS which would add substantially to the revenue of SD20? What will happen to the Red Mountain Academy program who need close access to the ski hill and bring in much needed international revenue for SD20?


I am so disillusioned by the whole process, what a joke it is.



Lesley Chisholm

Categories: EducationLetters

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